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High-throughput study of alpha-synuclein expression in yeast using microfluidics for control of local cellular microenvironment

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tiago OuteiroORCiD


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Microfluidics is an emerging technology which allows the miniaturization, integration, and automation of fluid handling processes. Microfluidic systems offer low sample consumption, significantly reduced processing time, and the prospect of massive parallelization. A microfluidic platform was developed for the control of the soluble cellular microenvironment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, which enabled high-throughput monitoring of the controlled expression of alpha-synuclein (aSyn), a protein involved in Parkinson's disease. Y-shaped structures were fabricated using particle desorption mass spectrometry-based soft-lithography techniques to generate biomolecular gradients along a microchannel. Cell traps integrated along the microchannel allowed the positioning and monitoring of cells in precise locations, where different, well-controlled chemical environments were established. S. cerevisiae cells genetically engineered to encode the fusion protein aSyn-GFP (green fluorescent protein) under the control of GAL1, a galactose inducible promoter, were loaded in the microfluidic structure. A galactose concentration gradient was established in the channel and a time-dependent aSyn-GFP expression was obtained as a function of the positioning of cells along the galactose gradient. Our results demonstrate the applicability of this microfluidic platform to the spatiotemporal control of cellular microenvironment and open a range of possibilities for the study of cellular processes based on single-cell analysis. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rosa P, Tenreiro S, Chu V, Outeiro TF, Conde JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biomicrofluidics

Year: 2012

Volume: 6

Online publication date: 09/02/2012

ISSN (electronic): 1932-1058

Publisher: AIP Publishing


DOI: 10.1063/1.3683161


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