Cells may be captured and released using a photodegradable hydrogel (photogel) functionalized with antibodies. Photogel substrates were used to first isolate human CD4 or CD8 T-cells from a heterogeneous cell suspension and then to release desired cells or groups of cells by UV-induced photodegradation. Flow cytometry analysis of the retrieved cells revealed approximately 95 % purity of CD4 and CD8 T-cells, suggesting that this substrate had excellent specificity. To demonstrate the possibility of sorting cells according to their function, photogel substrates that were functionalized with anti-CD4 and anti-TNF-α antibodies were prepared. Single cells captured and stimulated on such substrates were identified by the fluorescence "halo" after immunofluorescent staining and could be retrieved by site-specific exposure to UV light through a microscope objective. Overall, it was demonstrated that functional photodegradable hydrogels enable the capture, analysis, and sorting of live cells.
- single-cell detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas