Drug Conjugates of Polymeric Microspheres as Tools in Cell Biology
Visualisation and identification of specific sites on cell surfaces is of great importance for understanding various biological phenomena, such as cell-cell recognition in development, cell communication and differences between normal and tumor cell surfaces. Mapping of antigens and carbohydrate residues on the surface of cells has been studied intensively by various techniques, for example, using fluorescent, or radioactive antibodies or lectins1–3 or by binding biological macromolecules as markers, e.g. ferritin4, hemocyanin5, viruses6 and peroxidase7 to antibodies or lectins. The latter macromolecules were used as markers for transmission electron microscopy or for scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Synthetic markers would naturally have several important advantages over the available biological reagents. Prominent amongst these advantages are control over a wide range of sizes of the microspheres, the modification of their chemical and mechanical properties and the possibility of introducing fluorescent or magnetic compounds into them. The latter compounds serve an essential role in the visualisation of the beads bound to the cells by their fluorescence in the microscope or their opacity in the electron microscope. Furthermore they allow for sorting and separation of components in cell populations.
KeywordsMast Cell Sodium Cromoglycate Polymeric Microsphere Disodium Cromoglycate Histamine Secretion
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