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Issue 22, 2012
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Vacuum-assisted cell loading enables shear-free mammalian microfluidic culture

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Abstract

Microfluidic perfusion cultures for mammalian cells provide a novel means for probing single-cell behavior but require the management of culture parameters such as flow-induced shear stress. Methods to eliminate shear stress generally focus on capturing cells in regions with high resistance to fluid flow. Here, we present a novel trapping design to easily and reliably load a high density of cells into culture chambers that are extremely isolated from potentially damaging flow effects. We utilize a transient on-chip vacuum to remove air from the culture chambers and rapidly replace the volume with a liquid cell suspension. We demonstrate the ability of this simple and robust method to load and culture three commonly used cell lines. We show how the incorporation of an on-chip function generator can be used for dynamic stimulation of cells during long-term continuous perfusion culture.

Graphical abstract: Vacuum-assisted cell loading enables shear-free mammalian microfluidic culture

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 May 2012, accepted on 24 Aug 2012 and first published on 24 Aug 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40569E
Lab Chip, 2012,12, 4732-4737

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    Vacuum-assisted cell loading enables shear-free mammalian microfluidic culture

    M. Kolnik, L. S. Tsimring and J. Hasty, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 4732
    DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40569E

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