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Innovative ‘cell guillotine’ could revolutionize wound healing

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

For the last 100 years, slicing a single cell into two equal parts has proven to be a process that’s tedious, time-consuming and one that required to be done by hand.

The researchers, led by Sindy Tang, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, have created a “microfluidic guillotine” that channels single cells down a tight corridor before they are bisected by a pointed blade, creating two evenly-sliced cells.

Screen Shot at PM“Cutting a single cell by hand takes about 3 minutes if you’re good at it, and even if you’re good at it, you can’t always cut the cell equally in half. This method has not changed for over 100 years,” according to Lucas Blauch, a graduate student on Tang’s team. “We knew that our lab’s expertise in microfluidics would allow us to create a device to do that much faster.”

Once the research team devised the method for bisection, it multiplied its productivity by creating a tool with eight parallel corridors, one that can be held between one’s thumb and forefinger. Studying how cells heal themselves potentially has a wide application in medical research, and the new splitting technique holds additional promise.

“Our microfluidic platform presents an important step toward such a standardized assay and is expected to lay the foundation for understanding how single cells repair themselves.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: For Wound Repair, Innovative Stanford Scientists Create Cell ‘Guillotine’

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