Analysis of cell division using heavy water labelling
I am working on a method for measuring cell division using heavy water labelling and mass spectrometry (co-supervised by Dr. Robert Busch). DNA replication can be used to reliably measure cell division using a variety of labelling techniques. However, current methods suffer from a major limitation; they are not suitable for direct use in patients due to the harmful effects of the labels used. To overcome this, our approach involves the incorporation of 2H2O (heavy water) into the DNA of dividing cells followed by detection of the label using mass spectrometry to quantify cell proliferation. To achieve single cell sensitivity, we aim to produce a lab-on-chip device to enable multiplexed analysis of DNA from single cells. This work is funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). In line with the principles embodied by the NC3Rs, this method will lead to the refinement, reduction and replacement of animal model use in various research scenarios. Notably, the method has utility in the fields of immunology and oncology.