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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Feb;25(1):116-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2012.10.017. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Microfabricated devices for cell biology: all for one and one for all.

Author information

1
Institut Curie, UMR 144 CNRS, 26 rue d'Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05, France.

Abstract

Individual cells in their native physiological states face a dynamic multi-factorial environment. This is true of both single-celled and multi-cellular organisms. A key challenge in cell biology is the design of experimental methods and specific assays to disentangle the contribution of each of the parameters governing cell behavior. After decades of studying cells cultured in Petri dishes or on glass coverslips, researchers can now benefit from a range of recent technological developments that allow them to study cells in a variety of contexts, with different levels of complexity and control over a range of environmental parameters. These technologies include new types of microscopy for detailed imaging of large cell aggregates or even whole tissues, and the development of cell culture substrates, such as 3D matrices. Here we will review the contribution of a third type of tool, collectively known as microfabricated tools. Derived from techniques originally developed for microelectronics, these tools range in size from hundreds of microns to hundreds of nanometers.

PMID:
23195438
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2012.10.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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