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Issue 18, 2011
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Rapid spatial and temporal controlled signal delivery over large cell culture areas

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Abstract

Controlled chemical delivery in microfluidic cell culture devices often relies on slowly evolving diffusive gradients, as the spatial and temporal control provided by fluid flow results in significant cell-perturbation. In this paper we introduce a microfluidic device architecture that allows for rapid spatial and temporal soluble signal delivery over large cell culture areas without fluid flow over the cells. In these devices the cell culture well is divided from a microfluidic channel located directly underneath the chamber by a nanoporous membrane. This configuration requires chemical signals in the microchannel to only diffuse through the thin membrane into large cell culture area, rather than diffuse in from the sides. The spatial chemical pattern within the microfluidic channel was rapidly transferred to the cell culture area with good fidelity through diffusion. The cellular temporal response to a step-function signal showed that dye reached the cell culture surface within 45 s, and achieved a static concentration in under 6 min. Chemical pulses of less than one minute were possible by temporally alternating the signal within the microfluidic channel, enabling rapid flow-free chemical microenvironment control for large cell culture areas.

Graphical abstract: Rapid spatial and temporal controlled signal delivery over large cell culture areas

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Apr 2011, accepted on 08 Jul 2011 and first published on 01 Aug 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20311H
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 3057-3063
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    Rapid spatial and temporal controlled signal delivery over large cell culture areas

    J. J. VanDersarl, A. M. Xu and N. A. Melosh, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 3057
    DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20311H

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