Polydimethylsiloxane SlipChip for mammalian cell culture applications†
This paper reports a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) SlipChip for in vitro cell culture applications, multiple-treatment assays, cell co-cultures, and cytokine detection assays. The PDMS SlipChip is composed of two PDMS layers with microfluidic channels on each surface that are separated by a thin silicone fluid (Si-fluid) layer. The integration of Si-fluid enables the two PDMS layers to be slid to different positions; therefore, the channel patterns can be re-arranged for various applications. The SlipChip design significantly reduces the complexity of sample handling, transportation, and treatment processes. To apply the developed SlipChip for cell culture applications, human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells (A549) and lung fibroblasts (MRC-5) were cultured to examine the biocompatibility of the developed PDMS SlipChip. Moreover, embryonic pluripotent stem cells (ES-D3) were also cultured in the device to evaluate the retention of their stemness in the device. The experimental results show that cell morphology, viability and proliferation are not affected when the cells are cultured in the SlipChip, indicating that the device is highly compatible with mammalian cell culture. In addition, the stemness of the ES-D3 cells was highly retained after they were cultured in the device, suggesting the feasibility of using the SlipChip for stem cell research. Various cell experiments, such as simultaneous triple staining of cells and co-culture of MRC-5 with A549 cells, were also performed to demonstrate the functionalities of the PDMS SlipChip. Furthermore, we used a cytokine detection assay to evaluate the effect of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharides, LPS) treatment on the cytokine secretion of A549 cells using the SlipChip. The developed PDMS SlipChip provides a straightforward and effective platform for various on-chip in vitro cell cultures and consequent analysis, which is promising for a number of cell biology studies and biomedical applications.