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Issue 2, 2011
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A microfluidic array with cellular valving for single cell co-culture

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We present a highly parallel microfluidic approach for contacting single cell pairs. The approach combines a differential fluidic resistance trapping method with a novel cellular valving principle for homotypic and heterotypic single cell co-culturing. Differential fluidic resistance was used for sequential single cell arraying, with the adhesion and flattening of viable cells within the microstructured environment acting to produce valves in the open state. Reversal of the flow was used for the sequential single cell arraying of the second cell type. Plasma stencilling, along the linear path of least resistance, was required to confine the cells within the trap regions. Prime flow conditions with minimal shear stress were identified for highly efficient cell arraying (∼99%) and long term cell culture. Larger trap dimensions enabled the highest levels of cell pairing (∼70%). The single cell co-cultures were in close proximity for the formation of connexon structures and the study of contact modes of communication. The research further highlights the possibility of using the natural behaviour of cells as the working principle behind responsive microfluidic elements.

Graphical abstract: A microfluidic array with cellular valving for single cell co-culture

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Jul 2010, accepted on 28 Sep 2010 and first published on 27 Oct 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00172D
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 231-237

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    A microfluidic array with cellular valving for single cell co-culture

    J. Frimat, M. Becker, Y. Chiang, U. Marggraf, D. Janasek, J. G. Hengstler, J. Franzke and J. West, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 231
    DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00172D

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