BPN417: Spatially Targeted Microfluidic Stimulation for Quantitative Gap Junction Analysis


Gap junctions are expressed in most mammalian cells, coupling their intracellular environments to allow direct communication of ions, metabolites, and other small molecules. Although gap junctions have been implicated in a range of diseases from neuronal degeneration to cancer, our understanding of their function is still incomplete. We present here the application of a microfluidic device for assaying gap junction communication by focusing dye molecules or other membrane diffusiblefocusing dye molecules or other membrane diffusible biomolecules over cells cultured to confluence. A laminar stream of gap junction-transmissible dye is hydrodynamically focused between two streams of buffer solution, selectively targeting a column of cells, while leaving their neighbors unexposed. Dye transfer into neighboring cells can be monitored via timelapse fluorescent microscopy, yielding dynamic information about the process of molecular transfer.

Project end date: 01/28/09

Sisi Chen
Publication date: 
August 19, 2008
Publication type: 
BSAC Project Materials (Final/Archive)
PREPUBLICATION DATA - ©University of California 2008

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