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.
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.
Fourteen participating teams engineered Dicty and HL60 cells to run through the mazes. More than 400 cells finished the race in the 3-hour observation time. HL60 cells were overall twice as fast as Dicty cells. However, Dicty cells were better at finding the shortest path through the maze.
“This project is great fun and should help interest young students to get interested in science, especially cell biology! I know cells seem slow, but if you calculate their relative speed compared to their size it is equivalent to about 1/10 kilometer per hour – not that slow!”
To find the winners, we counted the first 100 cells to cross reach the end chamber, from all teams. It took just a bit over two hours to get these 100 cells.
Think you have what it takes to win this year’s race? Register Now!
Sponsors are needed to make this event a success. If you’d like to contribute to the cause of cell migration, please visit our campaign page.
The Dicty World Race is a competition between Dicty and HL60 cells navigating fast and accurately through complex mazes. Dicty and HL60 cells are models for studying human neutrophils, the white blood cells protecting us from infections. Cells from different labs will compete inside identical mazes. They are guided from start to finish by chemoattractant concentration gradients, from sources at the end of the mazes.