Fast microfluidic temperature control for high resolution live cell imaging

Printer-friendly version
TitleFast microfluidic temperature control for high resolution live cell imaging
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsVelve Casquillas, G, Fu C, Le Berre M, Cramer J, Meance S, Plecis A, Baigl D, Greffet J-J, Chen Y, Piel M, Tran PT
JournalLab on a Chip

One major advantage of using genetically tractable model organisms such as the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is the ability to construct temperature-sensitive mutations in a gene. The resulting gene product or protein behaves as wildtype at permissive temperatures. At non-permissive or restrictive temperatures the protein becomes unstable and some or all of its functions are abrogated. The protein regains its function when returning to a permissive temperature. In principle, temperature-sensitive mutation enables precise temporal control of protein activity when coupled to a fast temperature controller. Current commercial temperature control devices do not have fast switching capability over a wide range of temperatures, making repeated temperature changes impossible or impractical at the cellular timescale of seconds or minutes. Microfabrication using soft-lithography is emerging as a powerful tool for cell biological research. We present here a simple disposable polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based microfluidic device capable of reversibly switching between 5 degrees C and 45 degrees C in less than 10 s. This device allows high-resolution live cell imaging with an oil immersion objective lens. We demonstrate the utility of this device for studying microtubule dynamics throughout the cell cycle.

UMR 7203