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Breakthrough technology focuses in on disease traits of single cells
Date:7/24/2012

Just like populations of human beings, clusters of living cells are made up of individuals possessing unique qualities. Traditional analytic techniques however evaluate cells in tissue aggregates, often overlooking single-cell nuances that can offer valuable clues concerning health and disease.

ASU Senior Scientist and Professor, Deirdre Meldrum, and her colleagues at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute are pioneering a kind of miniaturized laboratory for the investigation of single cells. Known as the Cellarium, this live cell array technology will enable researchers to investigate the detailed behavior of individual cellsproviding unprecedented insights into their role in disease processes.

"Just as an aquarium is for viewing and studying live fish, the 'Cellarium' is for viewing and studying live cells," Meldrum says. "The Cellarium is an innovative, disposable microarray with sensors for dynamic, high-throughput measurements of live single cells. It is capable of multiparameter metabolic measurements of biosignatures induced by perturbation," she explains.

Currently under a $1.5 million grant from the NIH, the Cellarium project is the fruit of over a decade of scientific progress. Much of this work has been carried out with Meldrum's Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation, a multidisciplinary team Meldrum directs and that has devoted significant resources to the study of single-cell physiology. Other key investigators in the Cellarium project include Drs. Honor Glenn, Mark Holl, Laimonas Kelbauskas, Yanqing Tian, Cody Youngbull, and Mr. Cliff Anderson.

An NIH Center of Excellence in Genomic Sciences known as the Microscale Life Sciences Center at Biodesign, also directed by Meldrum, has created and developed the Cellarium's early generation technology, with the assistance of partners at the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Brandeis University.

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Contact: Joseph Caspermeyer
Joseph.Caspermeyer@asu.edu
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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