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Issue 7, 2007
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Multilayer PDMS microfluidic chamber for controlling brain slice microenvironment

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Abstract

A novel three-layer microfluidic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) device was constructed with two fluid chambers that holds a brain slice in place with microposts while maintaining laminar perfusate flow above and below the slice. Our fabrication technique permits rapid production of PDMS layers that can be applied to brain slices of different shapes and sizes. In this study, the device was designed to fit the shape and thickness (530–700 µm) of a medullary brain slice taken from P0–P4 neonatal rats. Medullary slices in this chamber spontaneously produced rhythmic, respiratory-related motor output for up to 3 h, thereby demonstrating that brain slice viability was maintained for prolonged periods. This design is unique in that it achieves independent control of fluids through multiple channels in two separate fluid chambers. The laminar flow exhibited by the microfluidic chamber allows controlled solutions to target specific areas of the brain slice based on the input flow rates. To demonstrate this capability, a stream of Na+-free solution was focused on one half of a medullary slice to abolish spontaneous neural activity in only that half of the brain slice, while the other half remained active. We also demonstrated that flow of different solutions can be focused over the midline of the brain slice. The multilayer brain slice chamber design can integrate several traditional types of electrophysiology tools that are commonly used to measure neurophysiological properties of brain slices. Thus, this new microfluidic chamber is advantageous for experiments that involve controlled drug or solution delivery at high spatiotemporal resolution.

Graphical abstract: Multilayer PDMS microfluidic chamber for controlling brain slice microenvironment

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Mar 2007, accepted on 24 Apr 2007 and first published on 24 May 2007


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B704754A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2007,7, 842-849
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    Multilayer PDMS microfluidic chamber for controlling brain slice microenvironment

    A. J. Blake, T. M. Pearce, N. S. Rao, S. M. Johnson and J. C. Williams, Lab Chip, 2007, 7, 842
    DOI: 10.1039/B704754A

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