A simple fluidic design integrates directly into standard cell culture and biochemical assays as a part of new experimental methods published recently. The fluidic design used single channel or T-shaped flow chambers and a syringe pump to effectively culture and assay cells in a continuous gradient of conditions. These methods simultaneously expand experimental capability and reproducibility to capture cellular responses in dynamic culture environments. In cell biology, how physiologic changes in environmental stimuli such as hormones, nutrients, stress, drugs are integrated by cellular processes is central to understanding how cells and organisms thrive and fight disease. Experimental methodologies using fixed assay conditions are limited to discrete or sudden intervals in stimulus concentration. Sudden concentration intervals miss the continuous concentration gradients more representative of physiologic conditions and may shock cells and cellular processes under study. Thiemicke et al. 2019 demonstrate the application to the study of cell shape, signal transduction, and gene regulation in S. cerevisiae and human monocytic THP1 cell line. The authors assayed cellular response to osmotic stress to cells exposed to sudden concentration intervals compared to continuous concentration gradients. The value of this approach is highlighted by the ability to measure pathway activation from mRNA expression in a FISH assay JNK phosphorylation in a fluorescence microscopy assay. The assay used a custom chamber developed by Grace Bio-Labs.
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The complete publication is available here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46438-8