277196 In Vitro Recapitulation of Organ Growth for a Model Genetic Tissue, the Drosophila Wing Imaginal Disc

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 1:24 PM
Somerset East (Westin )
Jeremiah J. Zartman1, Simon Restrepo2 and Konrad Basler2, (1)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, (2)Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Inspiration in developing novel methods in tissue and stem cell engineering has often come from a deeper understanding of developmental biology. To form an important positive feedback loop, advances in bioengineering can also be applied toward solving fundamental biological questions in pattern formation and growth control. The wing imaginal disc of Drosophila melanogaster is an important model system that has greatly contributed to our understanding of genetics and organ development. However, current studies have begun to be limited by relying on end-point analysis provided by fixed tissues. In vitro methods that recapitulate the development and growth of an intact wing imaginal disc will help to uncover new biological questions and solve long-standing unsolved biological questions. Here we describe a high-throughput pipeline based on design-of-experiments methodology to develop an optimized culture medium that doubles the proliferation rate of wing discs in short-term cultures over multiple hours.  The optimized protocol has identified critical medium components and synergies and, coupled with an improved live-imaging system, is providing further insight into cell-cell dynamics within the context of tissue growth.  Future efforts will focus on using cultured wing discs as a screening platform that harnesses the flexibility of in vitro methods with the power of Drosophila genetics to answer questions regarding the regulation of final tissue size.

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