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Issue 6, 2008
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Managing evaporation for more robust microscale assays

Part 2. Characterization of convection and diffusion for cell biology

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Abstract

Cell based microassays allow the screening of a multitude of culture conditions in parallel, which can be used for various applications from drug screening to fundamental cell biology research. Tubeless microfluidic devices based on passive pumping are a step towards accessible high throughput microassays, however they are vulnerable to evaporation. In addition to volume loss, evaporation can lead to the generation of small flows. Here, we focus on issues of convection and diffusion for cell culture in microchannels and particularly the transport of soluble factors secreted by cells. We find that even for humidity levels as high as 95%, convection in a passive pumping channel can significantly alter distributions of these factors and that appropriate system design can prevent convection.

Graphical abstract: Managing evaporation for more robust microscale assays Part 2. Characterization of convection and diffusion for cell biology

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Article information


Submitted
12 Nov 2007
Accepted
11 Mar 2008
First published
08 Apr 2008

Lab Chip, 2008,8, 860-864
Article type
Tutorial Review

Managing evaporation for more robust microscale assays

E. Berthier, J. Warrick, H. Yu and D. J. Beebe, Lab Chip, 2008, 8, 860
DOI: 10.1039/B717423C

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