Fabricating optical-quality glass surfaces to study macrophage fusion

James J. Faust, Wayne Christenson, Kyle Doudrick, John Heddleston, Teng Leong Chew, Marko Lampe, Arnat Balabiyev, Robert Ros, Tatiana P. Ugarova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Visualizing the formation of multinucleated giant cells (MGCs) from living specimens has been challenging due to the fact that most live imaging techniques require propagation of light through glass, but on glass macrophage fusion is a rare event. This protocol presents the fabrication of several optical-quality glass surfaces where adsorption of compounds containing long-chain hydrocarbons transforms glass into a fusogenic surface. First, preparation of clean glass surfaces as starting material for surface modification is described. Second, a method is provided for the adsorption of compounds containing long-chain hydrocarbons to convert non-fusogenic glass into a fusogenic substrate. Third, this protocol describes fabrication of surface micropatterns that promote a high degree of spatiotemporal control over MGC formation. Finally, fabricating glass bottom dishes is described. Examples of use of this in vitro cell system as a model to study macrophage fusion and MGC formation are shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56866
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number133
StatePublished - Mar 14 2018


  • Foreign body giant cell
  • Foreign body reaction
  • Immunology and Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Issue 133
  • Live imaging
  • Macrophage fusion
  • Multinucleated giant cell formation
  • Protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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