Changing cell biology as we know it

Paving new opportunities to advance cell biology

Cells are the fundamental units of life.
Originating from a single cell only, humans comprise trillions of cells over their lifetime.

No cell is alike — many cells adopt highly specialised functions, whereas others remain unspecialised; some cells experience flow and shear stress as part of their daily life, whereas others experience more static environments.

Understanding and researching cells is vital. Serious and often life-threatening diseases — i.e. Cancer, Alzheimer's and Diabetes — originate from altered cells and elucidating underlying cellular pathophysiologies is critical to develop better treatments for many.

iotaSciences' technology is being developed with the aim of greatly supporting the daily work of fundamental and clinical cell researchers, with the possibility of exposing cells to relevant and translational experimental conditions.

Giving fluids shape

Harnessing the power of the microscale

iotaSciences' technology facilitates the rapid shaping of liquids on surfaces used to maintain and analyse cells, i.e. polystyrene and glass.
This powerful concept provides cell researchers with the means to conveniently expose cells to otherwise difficult to obtain static- as well as dynamically flowing microscale environments.

How does it work?

The technology utilizes physical principles that dominate at the microscale.
Whereas gravity is a dominant force at the macroscale, this becomes neglectable at the microscale. Instead, interfacial tension — a force that holds together surfaces of distinct phases (i.e. solid-liquid, liquid-liquid interfaces) — dominates here.
Consequently, small enough liquid patterns are stably hold in place on surfaces and can be overlaid with a second immisclible liquid that controls evaporation and thus allows working and handling small volumes.

GRIDs — powerful fluid architectures for isolating and culturing single cells

A 60-mm round-bottom dish...

...turned into a sophisticated platform for isolating and culturing single cells. The image depicts a GRID (top-view), that was shaped out of cell-culture medium and an immiscible overlay. The 256 individual chambers of the GRID were filled with dyed cell-culture medium (orange) for visualisation


Have a look at our publications!

Nature Communications 2017

Microfluidics with fluid walls