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PLoS One. 2016 Jun 22;11(6):e0154491. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154491. eCollection 2016.

A Worldwide Competition to Compare the Speed and Chemotactic Accuracy of Neutrophil-Like Cells.

Author information

1
Joseph Henry Laboratories of Physics and Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.
2
BioMEMS Resource Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Burns Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
3
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization, Göttingen, Germany.
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
5
Department of Cell Biochemistry, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
6
London Centre for Nanotechnology and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
7
University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

Chemotaxis is the ability to migrate towards the source of chemical gradients. It underlies the ability of neutrophils and other immune cells to hone in on their targets and defend against invading pathogens. Given the importance of neutrophil migration to health and disease, it is crucial to understand the basic mechanisms controlling chemotaxis so that strategies can be developed to modulate cell migration in clinical settings. Because of the complexity of human genetics, Dictyostelium and HL60 cells have long served as models system for studying chemotaxis. Since many of our current insights into chemotaxis have been gained from these two model systems, we decided to compare them side by side in a set of winner-take-all races, the Dicty World Races. These worldwide competitions challenge researchers to genetically engineer and pharmacologically enhance the model systems to compete in microfluidic racecourses. These races bring together technological innovations in genetic engineering and precision measurement of cell motility. Fourteen teams participated in the inaugural Dicty World Race 2014 and contributed cell lines, which they tuned for enhanced speed and chemotactic accuracy. The race enabled large-scale analyses of chemotaxis in complex environments and revealed an intriguing balance of speed and accuracy of the model cell lines. The successes of the first race validated the concept of using fun-spirited competition to gain insights into the complex mechanisms controlling chemotaxis, while the challenges of the first race will guide further technological development and planning of future events.

PMID:
27332963
PMCID:
PMC4917115
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0154491
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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