Patterning and transferring hydrogel-encapsulated bacterial cells for quantitative analysis of synthetically engineered genetic circuits
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- Patterning and transferring hydrogel-encapsulated bacterial cells for quantitative analysis of synthetically engineered genetic circuits
- Choi, Woon Sun; Kim, Minseok; Park, Seongyong; Lee, Sung Kuk; Kim, Taesung
- Agarose; Alginate hydrogels; Bacterial cells; Cell density; Cell patterns; Concentration gradients; Concentration-dependent; Extracellular; Fluorescence proteins; Genetic circuits; Intercellular communication; Intercellular communications; Living cell; Polydimethylsiloxane PDMS; Qualitative analysis; Rapid advancement; Systems biology
- Issue Date
- ELSEVIER SCI LTD
- BIOMATERIALS, v.33, no.2, pp.624 - 633
- We describe a hydrogel patterning and transferring (HPT) method that facilitates the quantitative analysis of synthetically engineered genetic circuits within bacterial cells. The HPT method encapsulates cells in the alginate hydrogel patterns by using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) template. Then, the hydrogel-encapsulated cell patterns are transferred onto an agarose hydrogel substrate that encapsulates inducer chemicals or bacterial cells. Using the HPT method, we demonstrate that inducers in the agarose hydrogel substrate regulate gene expression of the patterned cells for qualitative analysis by activating the promoters of fluorescence protein genes. In addition, we demonstrate that the HPT method can be used for the analysis of the cross-talk between genetic circuits and the concentration-dependent gene expression and regulation because the agarose hydrogel substrate can produce concentration gradients of inducers. Lastly, we demonstrate that the HPT method can be applied to investigating intercellular communication between neighboring cells with a wide range of cell densities. Since the HPT method is simple to deal with but versatile and powerful to quantitatively analyze genetic circuits in living cells in many controllable manners, we believe that the method can be widely used for the rapid advancement of synthetic, molecular, and systems biology.
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