Which Cell Technology Was Made Possible by the Development of Micromanipulation Tools?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

Researchers need a variety of techniques and tools to manipulate cells and subcellular structures at a high level of precision. They also need to be able to work with cell-by-cell in order to build complicated multicellular 3D structures, including models of embryonic development, function-form relationships, and immune signaling, among others. This type of 3D printing requires a complex interplay between micromanipulation tools, advanced imaging, and novel culture mediums.

A wide variety of key applications in cellular research have been made possible by the development of these micro/nanomanipulation tools and systems. These include cloning12, preimplantation genetic diagnosis14, gene editing15, cellular therapy16, and understanding the functions and activities of subcellular organelles and components7.

Optical Tweezers (OTs)20, microfluidics21, and atomic force microscopy22 are examples of advanced tools that allow researchers to precisely grab and handle single cells with hyper-accuracy and flexibility23.

For example, OTs can be used to isolate and transfer mitochondria from one cell to another23. This allows researchers to study the effects of different mitochondrial mutations on cellular metabolism and phenotype.

In addition, they can be used to prevent a disease-causing mtDNA mutation from spreading from mother to offspring in heterozygous females24.

The ability to precisely weed out a specific single cell from heterogeneous population is essential for many applications in gene editing. The cloned cells can be subjected to different mutations to determine which have the desired effect. In addition, single-cell clones can be used as starting points to make new drugs and other products.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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