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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Complex Tissue Model Generation via DNA Programmed Assembly

  • Author(s): Jee, Noel
  • Advisor(s): Gartner, Zev J
  • et al.

Tissue-level biology is an important, but experimentally challenging field within the biological sciences. Generation of correct tissue models in vitro is limited by the lack of scientific techniques available to fully control the correct physical arrangement of cells, extracellular matrix (ECM), and diffusible factors that are vital for homeostasis and proper function. This dissertation presents a method that combines a top-down patterning technique with the bottom-up assembly of cells to generate tissue models, called Surface Templated DNA Programmed Assembly of Cells (STDPAC). At its core, the method uses cell-surfaced grafted oligonucleotides as “zip codes” to direct cell-surface and cell-cell interactions through Watson-Crick base pairing. Herein we demonstrate the method, a showcase of technological applications, and complex tissue models generated to probe the biological function of tissues within the mammary gland.

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