Single cells as experimentation units in lab-on-a-chip devices

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    'Lab-on-a-chip' technology (LOC) has now reached a mature state and is employed commonly in research in the life sciences. LOC devices make novel experimentation possible while providing a sophisticated environment for cellular investigation. As a next step, we introduce here the concept of a 'lab-in-a-cell': the use of a single cell as a minimal and highly confined experimental unit, or experimentation in the simple, but still unequalled, platform provided by nature itself. LOC provides the appropriate format and set of tools for LIC experimentation, and we discuss here three types of LIC investigation: the elucidation of signaling pathways; the creation of novel production units; and the use of microfluidics for assisted reproduction techniques
    Original languageUndefined
    Article number10.1016/j.tibtech.2009.10.005
    Pages (from-to)55-62
    Number of pages8
    JournalTrends in biotechnology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


    • EWI-18137
    • IR-72396
    • METIS-270910

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