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Issue 11, 2009
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An integrated cell culture lab on a chip: modular microdevices for cultivation of mammalian cells and delivery into microfluidic microdroplets

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Abstract

We present a modular system of microfluidic PDMS devices designed to incorporate the steps necessary for cell biological assays based on mammalian tissue culture ‘on-chip’. The methods described herein include the on-chip immobilization and culturing of cells as well as their manipulation by transfection. Assessment of cell viability by flow cytrometry suggests low attrition rates (<3%) and excellent growth properties in the device for up to 7 days for CHO-K1 cells. To demonstrate that key procedures from the repertoire of cell biology are possible in this format, transfection of a reporter gene (encoding green fluorescent protein) was carried out. The modular design enables efficient detachment and recollection of cells and allows assessment of the success of transfection achieved on-chip. The transfection levels (20%) are comparable to standard large scale procedures and more than 500 cells could be transfected. Finally, cells are transferred into microfluidic microdoplets, where in principle a wide range of subsequent assays can be carried out at the single cell level in droplet compartments. The procedures developed for this modular device layout further demonstrate that commonly used methods in cell biology involving mammalian cells can be reliably scaled down to allow single cell investigations in picolitre volumes.

Graphical abstract: An integrated cell culture lab on a chip: modular microdevices for cultivation of mammalian cells and delivery into microfluidic microdroplets

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Dec 2008, accepted on 20 Feb 2009 and first published on 11 Mar 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B821695A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2009,9, 1576-1582
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    An integrated cell culture lab on a chip: modular microdevices for cultivation of mammalian cells and delivery into microfluidic microdroplets

    H. Hufnagel , A. Huebner, C. Gülch, K. Güse, C. Abell and F. Hollfelder, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 1576
    DOI: 10.1039/B821695A

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