Selective chemical treatment of cellular microdomains using multiple laminar streams

Shuichi Takayama, Emanuele Ostuni, Philip LeDuc, Keiji Naruse, Donald E. Ingber, George M. Whitesides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


There are many experiments in which it would be useful to treat a part of the surface or interior of a cell with a biochemical reagent. It is difficult, however, to achieve subcellular specificity, because small molecules diffuse distances equal to the extent of the cell in seconds. This paper demonstrates experimentally, and analyzes theoretically, the use of multiple laminar fluid streams in microfluidic channels to deliver reagents to, and remove them from, cells with subcellular spatial selectivity. The technique made it possible to label different subpopulations of mitochondria fluorescently, to disrupt selected regions of the cytoskeleton chemically, to dislodge limited areas of cell-substrate adhesions enzymatically, and to observe microcompartmental endocytosis within individual cells. This technique does not require microinjection or immobilization of reagents onto nondiffusive objects; it opens a new window into cell biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry and Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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