A plate reader-compatible microchannel array for cell biology assays†
The use of microfluidic devices for studying cell biology holds considerable promise when compared to canonical culture systems. However, the lack of compatibility with existing infrastructure hinders the application of microfluidic devices in the life sciences. Here, we present a microchannel cell culture platform having both operational (compatible with plate readers and pipetting) and performance (lower detection limits, controlled microenvironment) advantages. We demonstrated rapid growth assays and immunocytochemistry on mammary epithelial cells (both a cell line and primary cells) in the microchannel arrays. The utilization of ubiquitous pipetting methods and plate reader endpoints lowers the barriers to use. The simplicity and flexibility of the platform, combined with the throughput of automated detection systems, will facilitate the adoption of microfluidic culture systems in biological laboratories.