Self Assembled Monolayer coatings for lab-on-chip cell Sorting via Aptamer-Mediated reversible cellular adhesion

People involved: Elena Bianchi (PI, Politecnico di Milano), Alfonso Gautieri (Politecnico di Milano), Chiara Arrigoni (Gruppo Ospedaliero San Donato Foundation), Junji Fukuda (Yokohama University, Japan)

Funding source: CARIPLO Foundation

Grant number: GR-2013-0766

Funding period: 2013 - 2015

Partners: Politecnico di Milano, Gruppo Ospedaliero San Donato Foundation, Yokohama University

Precise selection of specific cell subtypes is of fundamental importance for different areas, such as cell based therapies. As a consequence, several strategies for cell sorting from heterogeneous cell populations have been investigated. However, a highly specific, efficient, fast, cheap and portable technology to separate rare target cell of interest has not yet been implemented.

The aim of the project is thus to develop an innovative substrate for selective and reversible cell binding within a microfluidic cell sorter. The device will be based on the integration of the innovative substrate into a microfluidic chip, combining this adhesion-based sorting module to a size-based high-throughput pre-sorting module. The substrate will consist in a Self-Assembled Monolayer (SAM) based on a newly synthesized organic molecule, containing a top aptamer (a short DNA/RNA sequence) and a bottom region that allows a voltage-mediated reversible absorption on the chip surface. The pre-sorting of the cellular sample will enhance the efficiency of the selective adhesion on the innovative substrate.