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Our pure silicon nanoporous UltraSM® membranes are not only useful for electron microscopy, but also cell biology. In many studies of cell biology, one is interested in understanding how two cell populations interact or affect one another.
This is important in studies of developmental biology, stem cell research as well as tissue and artifical organ engineering. Conventional materials used for co-culture studies consist of thick polymeric membranes that can trap low abundance short-distance signaling molecules that cells use to communicate. SiMPore's nanoporous nanometer-thick membrane is ideal for studying two cell populations that are physically separated, but closely enough to easily communicate. Physical separation is important in many cellular studies where one cell type is harvested and isolated after co-culture. The figure above shows this ideal co-culture environment.
To demonstrate the thinness and transparency of our UltraSM® membranes, we plated human white blood cells on the top and bottom surface of the membrane. In imaging the cells, we focused from beneath the membrane, to membrane height and then above the membrane. Unlike traditional co-culture membranes, the 15 nm thick UltraSM® membrane is invisible and does not degrade the image quality of the cells on the top.
SiMPore and our academic partners are currently using UltraSM® membranes in additional formats to study everything from cell-cell communication to investigating improved drug permeability assays and even developing tissue engineering platforms. If you would like to learn more or work with us towards developing a better co-culture platform, feel free to contact me:
SiMPore is a nanotechnology materials company based in Rochester, NY developing and commercializing products for materials and life sciences communities.
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