Engineering the Racetracks

The Dicty World Race is possible because of recent engineering advances, which borrow technologies from the electronic industry and adapts them to build mazes sized to cell dimensions. The microfluidic devices we design enable us to measure cell migration with higher precision than ever before. We can now measure not only how fast individual cells move towards a target, but their accuracy navigating around obstacles and finding the shortest path towards a target.

Planning for the Race

Starting Dec 7, 2017, Dicty and HL60 cells will race for the “Fastest & Smartest” title. The first step for competing in the race is to sign up with an email address. We will send you a mini-microscope and a dozen microfluidic devices to start testing your cells. Then, you will select the cells with the best chance to win and ship them to our lab before the race.


Biotechne, CytoSMART, Formedium, Mattek, and BioMEMs Resource Center are sponsoring the Dicty World Race.

Video in Science: Scientists race cells in worldwide competition

In new study, published today in PLOS ONE, scientists from around the globe participated in the Dicty World Race, a competition that challenges researchers to design cells that can navigate across an artificial maze as quickly as possible. On race day, 14 teams injected specially modified version of two cell lines, Dictyostelium (or Dicty) and HL60, which are commonly used to study cell movement (known as chemotaxis), into a 1-millimeter-long silicone-based maze underneath a powerful microscope. Read the full article here:

ASCB: The Crowd Roars as World Dicty Cell Race Returns

ASBC covered the excitement about and concerns behind the second Dicty World Race. This race is expected to have more engineered cells to better understand cell taxis. Between the potential to learn more about cell motility and to translate strategies to therapeutics for sepsis, the cell race is a thrilling and educational opportunity.

The full article can be found here:

Cell Race Published in PLOS One

In worldwide chemotaxis competition, researchers race cell lines to the finish line
Neutrophil-like cells balance speed against accuracy to race through microfluidic mazes.

While much remains to be learned about chemotaxis and cell migration, the authors hope that future races will be a fun-spirited approach to continue investigating cell motility and chemotaxis on a large-scale, as well as to provide further insight into relevant areas of research.

Read the full article here:

Read the publication here: In worldwide chemotaxis competition, researchers race cell lines to the finish line

Neutrophil-like cells must balance speed against chemotactic accuracy to win a chemotaxis maze race in the inaugural Dicty World Races, a worldwide competition, according to a study published June 22, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Monica Skoge from Princeton University, Daniel Irmia from the Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues. Read more at:

The Wire: A Sport That Races Amoeba Around a Maze – for Science

Racing amoeba across a microscopic maze is no doubt fun, but the reason scientists around the world are spending time and effort to breed the perfect contestants is because of its implications for disease and healing. Read the full article here: