Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Vol.126, No.5, 653-660, 2018
Imaging cell picker: A morphology-based automated cell separation system on a photodegradable hydrogel culture platform
Cellular morphology on and in a scaffold composed of extracellular matrix generally represents the cellular phenotype. Therefore, morphology-based cell separation should be interesting method that is applicable to cell separation without staining surface markers in contrast to conventional cell separation methods (e.g., fluorescence activated cell sorting and magnetic activated cell sorting). In our previous study, we have proposed a cloning technology using a photodegradable gelatin hydrogel to separate the individual cells on and in hydrogels. To further expand the applicability of this photodegradable hydrogel culture platform, we here report an image-based cell separation system imaging cell picker for the morphology-based cell separation on a photodegradable hydrogel. We have developed the platform which enables the automated workflow of image acquisition, image processing and morphology analysis, and collection of a target cells. We have shown the performance of the morphology-based cell separation through the optimization of the critical parameters that determine the system's performance, such as (i) culture conditions, (ii) imaging conditions, and (iii) the image analysis scheme, to actually clone the cells of interest. Furthermore, we demonstrated the morphology-based cloning performance of cancer cells in the mixture of cells by automated hydrogel degradation by light irradiation and pipetting. (C) 2018, The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. All rights reserved.