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DGIST developed celltronics technology for digital control of single particles and cells

  • 조회. 1318
  • 등록일. 2014.05.27
  • 작성자. Administrator

DGIST developed celltronics technology for digital control of single particles and cells

-Opened the way for developing the next generation"s cell chip through digital control of single particles and cells- 

DGIST announced on May 20 that research team of Dr. CheolGi Kim(Professor, Emerging Materials Science), and Dr. Benjamin B. Yellen(Professor, Duke University) jointly developed the celltronics technology that can control single cells using micro-magnetic devices and superparamagnetic nanoparticles. 

Celltronics is a compound word of “cell” and “tronics”, which means digital control. Celltronics technology enables digital control of single cells, in a similar way that conductor, semi-conductor, diode, capacitor, and transistor controls electrons in an electronic circuit. 

Being inspired by the memory device operation through electronic control logic, Professor Kim"s research team has developed a technology that could control single particles and cells through local magnetic field control in a microfluidic environments using magnetic particles and microcurrent.  

Celltronics is an active control technology that allows fast and efficient separation and control of single cells by attaching magnetic nanoparticle to the target cell out of thousands of cells in the experimental group. This technology is expected to impact the next generation"s cell-chip technology, which is essential for the heterogenous cell research related with their growth and therapy, and genetic information.   

In most cases, research has been conducted on the ensemble average information gathered from cell group rather than analyze the difference among each cell, because there were no proper active control technology for single cells so far.

Analysis of the difference among single cells, and cellular signal transduction will be available through this single cell control using celltronics, therefore it is expected to bring great innovation to the research on cancer metastasis.  

Additionally, dormant cells among infected cells can be easily detected and analyzed with the new technology. Accordingly, the technology is expected to lead the new drug development through research on activation process and drug response of dormant cells.

Professor Kim said, "Celltronics is a system based on the electronic circuit algorithm, and it is easy to fabricate the devices and to control the single cells. Due to well developed the magnetic thin film and lithography technologies, it could be easy to commercialize this system." He added, "Our technology will bring innovation to the identification of cancer metastasis and its therapy." 

Meanwhile, the paper was published on online Nature Communications, a multidisciplinary journal of the Nature publishing group, on May 14. The 1st author of the paper is Byeonghwa Lim, who is doing doctoral course in Emerging Materials Science, DGIST Graduate School.