Many biological pathways involve intercellular interactions. Since all dielectrophoretic (DEP) cages in a DEPArray™ cartridge are individually controllable, cell-cell interaction studies can be performed by combining two or more cells into a single cage on the same cartridge. Cellular response can then be measured in the cartridge through changes in fluorescence signals; alternatively, the cells could be recovered for more detailed genomic analysis.
One example of this type of application is the study of cell lysis mechanisms induced by cytotoxic cells. For analysis of cytotoxicity, potential target cells can be labeled with an intracellular fluorescent probe, such as GFP, prior to loading onto a DEPArray™ cartridge. When the target cell is introduced into a DEP cage containing a cell with cytotoxic activity, the loss of fluorescent signal will indicate that cell lysis has occurred.