Kit-On-A-Lid-Assays for accessible self-contained cell assays†
Microscale methods for cell-based assays typically rely on macroscopic reagent handling and fluidic loading protocols that are technically challenging and do not scale with the number of assays favorably. Here, we demonstrate a microfluidic platform technology called “Kit-On-A-Lid-Assay” (KOALA), that enables the creation of self-contained microfluidic cell-based assays, integrating all the steps required to perform cell-based assays. The KOALA platform allows the pre-packaging of reagents, cryopreservation of cell suspensions, thawing of cell suspensions, culture of cells, and operation of whole cell-based assays. The operation of the KOALA platform is user-friendly and consists of bringing together a lid containing the microchannels, and a base containing the pre-packaged reagents, thereby causing fluidic exchange in all the channels simultaneously. We demonstrate that the KOALA cell-based assays can be simply operated from start to finish without any external laboratory equipment.