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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2004 Feb;15(1):44-9.

Microtechnologies and nanotechnologies for single-cell analysis.

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MESA+ Institute, University of Twente BIOS, the Lab-on-a-Chip Group, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands.


Many efforts are currently underway to try and mimic the properties of single cells with the aim of designing chips that are as efficient as cells. However, cells are nature's nanotechnology engineering at the scale of atoms and molecules, and it might be better to envision a microchip that utilizes a single cell as an experimentation platform. A novel, so-called laboratory-in-a-cell concept has been described, where advantage is taken of micro- and nanotechnological tools to enable precise control of the biochemical cellular environment; these tools also offer the possibility to analyse the composition of single cells. Methods for single-cell handling and analysis are being developed and will be required for this concept to progress further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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