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Issue 21, 2011
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Generation of oxygen gradients in microfluidic devices for cell culture using spatially confined chemical reactions

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Abstract

This paper reports a microfluidic device capable of generating oxygen gradients for cell culture using spatially confined chemical reactions with minimal chemical consumption. The microfluidic cell culture device is constructed by single-layer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channels, in which the cells can be easily observed by microscopes. The device can control the oxygen gradients without the utilization of bulky pressurized gas cylinders, direct addition of oxygen scavenging agents, or tedious gas interconnections and sophisticated flow control. In addition, due to the efficient transportation of oxygen within the device using the spatially confined chemical reactions, the microfluidic cell culture device can be directly used in conventional cell incubators without altering their gaseous compositions. The oxygen gradients generated in the device are numerically simulated and experimentally characterized using an oxygen-sensitive fluorescence dye. In this paper, carcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial (A549) cells have been cultured in the microfluidic device with a growth medium and an anti-cancer drug (Tirapazamine, TPZ) under various oxygen gradients. The cell experiment results successfully demonstrate the hyperoxia-induced cell death and hypoxia-induced cytotoxicity of TPZ. In addition, the results confirm the great cell compatibility and stable oxygen gradient generation of the developed device. Consequently, the microfluidic cell culture device developed in this paper is promising to be exploited in biological labs with minimal instrumentation to study cellular responses under various oxygen gradients.

Graphical abstract: Generation of oxygen gradients in microfluidic devices for cell culture using spatially confined chemical reactions

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Apr 2011, accepted on 18 Aug 2011 and first published on 13 Sep 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20325H
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 3626-3633
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    Generation of oxygen gradients in microfluidic devices for cell culture using spatially confined chemical reactions

    Y. Chen, A. D. King, H. Shih, C. Peng, C. Wu, W. Liao and Y. Tung, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 3626
    DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20325H

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