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A Simple Way to Study Cells
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research engineer Javier Atencia has a reputation for creating novel microfluidic devices out of ordinary, inexpensive components. This time, he has combined a glass slide, plastic sheets, and double-sided tape into a ?diffusion-based gradient generator? - a tool to rapidly assess how changing concentrations of specific chemicals affect living cells. This tool exposes an array of cultured cells to a chemical gradient ? a solution where the chemical concentration changes gradually and predictably across the array. Such gradients are a rapid, high-throughput way to evaluate the effect on cell growth or toxicity.
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