Kate received her Bachelor’s degree from F.W. Olin College of Engineering near Boston and then moved on to do her PhD in the lab of Dr. Valerie Weaver at UC Berkeley & UC San Francisco where she focused on understanding the role of biophysical forces in modulating  cancer aggression and progression. Kate then moved on as a Whitaker postdoctoral scholar to the Institute for Advanced Biosciences in Grenoble, France as a joint postdoc with the Wickström lab. Kate continued her postdoctoral work as an EMBO fellow in the Wickström lab at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany and then as a HFSP fellow in Helsinki Institute of Life Science at the University of Helsinki in Finland where she works on mechanical forces and chromatin. Kate will start her own laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA in 2021!

Can you describe in a few words your research work? And the project and experiments for which you wanted to use PRIMO?

« My interest is to understand the role of biophysical and topological properties of tissue microenvironments, such as stem cell niches, in modulating cell fate. Thus, the ability to precisely tune and control extracellular cell/organelle shape and geometry in 2D and 3D, is of critical importance. PRIMO has been incredibly useful in this regard! »

Primary mouse keratinocytes expressing Sox9 IRES eGFP reporter (cyan; pseudocolored DIC in magenta) on 10mm micropatterned line surfaces coated with a uniform/non-oriented collagen I ECM. Similar micropattern strategies were utilized to quantify clone growth orientation along oriented collagen fibers in Dekoninck et al. CELL 2020 (PMID:32259486) paper

What made you choose PRIMO ?

« Flexibility and ease of creating and testing limitless amounts of new patterns without the need to redesign chrome masks to adjust dimensions to different cell types (2D work). And the ability to easily microfabricate in 3D. »

Which solution did you use before using PRIMO?

« Deep UV with quartz glass mask patterning, for 2D and collaborations for 3D. The glass masks were very expensive so we couldn’t have as many different geometries that we wanted, patterning was slow and low throughput. »

Is the PRIMO system matching your expectations?

« PRIMO is outperforming my expectations – it is robust, easy to use, and the customer support team is fantastic – better than I have ever experienced. »

And how would you qualify its performances?

« Reproducible and versatile. Extremely easy to master patterning/fabrication for non experts. »

If you were to describe PRIMO in one word, what would it be?

« Enabler (in terms of technology) »

And finally, how would you qualify the support provided by the team?

« I can honestly attest that I have never experienced better customer service than with the PRIMO team, starting from purchasing to installation/training, to troubleshooting and expanding the types of assays we do with the PRIMO. Thank you for being dedicated, professional, knowledgeable, and all around awesome team of individuals. »

“The main interest of the Tardieux’s laboratory and my PhD project is to decipher how forces drive the unique motile and invasive capacities of the single-celled eukaryotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii. I was able to uncover that the parasite glides by coupling polar adhesions and de-adhesion with traction and dragging forces. The PRIMO technique was needed to create composite patterns with a non-adhesive area next to an adhesive one with the crucial request of a sharp demarcation.”

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“We are working on the generation of 3D cellular microenvironments to reproduce Hematopoietic Niches. PRIMO will be used to generate 3D photo-polymerized microenvironments and to pattern them to localize different cell populations involved in the hematopoiesis.”

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“Our aim is to develop in vitro experimentation to decipher guiding mechanisms involved in vivo. PRIMO technology is particularly adapted to design in vitro microdevices patterned with controlled patches of the signaling proteins relevant for white blood cell migration.”

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“We are interested in imaging subcellular localization of certain cell-surface receptors and check whether they colocalize with focal-adhesion complexes. For this purpose, we are interested in making different types of patterns of Fibronectin with subcellular dimensions.”

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“My research project aims at unravelling how a T cell switches from a fast migratory state to a stationary state upon activation. To do so, I perform live cell imaging of T cells migrating inside micro-fabricated channels coated with activating molecules. However, with this approach, I do not control when and where a T cell encounters the activating molecules.”

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“Protein micropatterning represents an excellent tool to probe the behavior and functions of cellular systems. PRIMO is specially suited for our experiments, in which the cell-substrate interaction needs to be precisely adjusted both throughout the substrates and in time, in order to control the dynamic behaviour of cell monolayers.”

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“Our research is at the frontier of soft matter physics and process engineering. More precisely, we develop microfluidic tools to study industrial processes (mixing, flow, drying, filtration, etc.) involving soft matter systems such as polymers or colloids. We use PRIMO to integrate hydrogel membranes in microfluidic devices to mimic ultrafiltration and dialysis processes on the scale of a few nanoliters.”

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the cellular

Alvéole has developed innovative solutions adapted to all standard cell culture substrates, rigid or soft, in 2D or 3D.

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Resource Center

Our team gives you all its tips you need to carry out your experimental manipulations and go even further!

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Our users describe their research projects and explain why they chose to use PRIMO!

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