A vast-range speed control microchip for retention of all cell types†
This Technical Note is the first description of a large-scale logarithmic flow-rate damping system designed to retain cells of different adherence, different suspensibility and different motility. The chamber, which can easily retain and cultivate many types of cells, including high-motility cells and swimming cells, via a series of “speed bumps”, readily facilitates cell retention for complex heterogeneous cultures. Yeast cells, red blood cells, rabbit bone marrow aspirate and dinoflagellate swimming cells were introduced into the chip for multi-cell retention, multi-cell culture and observation. Here, we show that the chamber creates a flow field with a ratio of end/start speeds as low as 0.01. The logarithmic distribution of flow-rate within the chamber is controlled precisely by pressure, all of the cell types that we tested were retained easily within the chamber. Many cell–cell interactions were observed, predicting a high potential for the success of on-chip heterogeneous cell experiments.