During the past decade, diverse types of barcode have been designed in order to track living cells in vivo or in vitro, but none of them offer the possibility to follow an individual cell up to ten or more days. Using silicon microtechnologies a barcode sufficiently small to be introduced into a cell, yet visible and readily identifiable under an optical microscope, is designed. Cultured human macrophages are able to engulf the barcodes due to their phagocytic ability and their viability is not affected. The utility of the barcodes for cell tracking is demonstrated by following individual cells for up to ten days in culture and recording their locomotion. Interestingly, silicon microtechnology allows the mass production of reproducible codes at tow cost with small features (bits) in the micrometer range that are additionally biocompatible. © 2009 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
- Cell tracking
- Optical microscopy