Cell proliferation and migration inside single cell arrays†
Cell proliferation and migration are fundamental processes in determining cell and tissue behaviour. In this study we show the design and fabrication of a new single cell microfluidic structure, called a “vertically integrated array” or “VIA” trap to explore quantitative functional assays including single cell attachment, proliferation and migration studies. The chip can be used in a continuous (flow-through) manner, with a continuous supply of new media, as well as in a quiescent mode. We show the fabrication of the device, together with the flow characteristics inside the network of channels and the single cell traps. The flow patterns inside the device not only facilitate cell trapping, but also protect the cells from mechanical flow-induced stress. MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells were used to study attachment and detachment during the cell cycle as well as explore the influences of the chemokine SDF-1 (enabling the quantification of the role of chemokine gradients both on pseudopod formation and directional cell migration).