Published: August 13th, 2016
Micro-fabricated devices integrated with fluidic components provide an in vitro platform for cell studies mimicking the in vivo micro-environment. We developed polymethylmethacrylate-based microfluidic chips for studying cellular responses under single or coexisting chemical/electrical/shear stress stimuli.
Microfluidic devices are capable of creating a precise and controllable cellular micro-environment of pH, temperature, salt concentration, and other physical or chemical stimuli. They have been commonly used for in vitro cell studies by providing in vivo like surroundings. Especially, how cells response to chemical gradients, electrical fields, and shear stresses has drawn many interests since these phenomena are important in understanding cellular properties and functions. These microfluidic chips can be made of glass substrates, silicon wafers, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymers, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) substrates, or polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) substrates. Out of these materials, PMMA substrates are cheap and can be easily processed using laser ablation and writing. Although a few microfluidic devices have been designed and fabricated for generating multiple, coexisting chemical and electrical stimuli, none of them was considered efficient enough in reducing experimental repeats, particular for screening purposes. In this report, we describe our design and fabrication of two PMMA-based microfluidic chips for investigating cellular responses, in the production of reactive oxygen species and the migration, under single or coexisting chemical/electrical/shear stress stimuli. The first chip generates five relative concentrations of 0, 1/8, 1/2, 7/8, and 1 in the culture regions, together with a shear stress gradient produced inside each of these areas. The second chip generates the same relative concentrations, but with five different electric field strengths created within each culture area. These devices not only provide cells with a precise, controllable micro-environment but also greatly increase the experimental throughput.
In vivo cells are surrounded by a variety of biomolecules including extracellular matrix (ECM), carbohydrates, lipids, and other cells. They functionalize by responding to micro-environmental stimuli such as interactions with ECM and responses to chemical gradients of various growth factors. Traditionally, in vitro cell studies are conducted in cell culture dishes where the consumption of cells and reagents is large and cells grow in a static (non-circulating) environment. Recently, micro-fabricated devices integrated with fluidic components have provided an alternative platform for cell studies in a more controllable way. Such devices are capable of....
1. Chip Design and Fabrication
The Chemical-shear Stress (CSS) Chip
The CSS chip is made of three PMMA sheets, each of thickness 1 mm, attached together via two double-sided tapes, each of thickness 0.07 mm (Figure 1A and 1B). The "Christmas tree" structure generates five relative concentrations of 0, 1/8, 1/2, 7/8, and 1 in the five culture areas. By designing the culture area as a triangle, a shear stress gradient, .......
PMMA-based chips are fabricated using laser ablation and writing which are cheaper and easier methods when compared to PDMS-based chips which require more complicated soft lithography. After designing a microfluidic chip, the fabrication and assembly can be done within just 5 min. There are some critical steps that attention should be paid to in performing the experiment. The first is the "assembling" issue. The adaptors should be glued properly to the top-most layer of the chip. Glue could leak into the fluidic .......
This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan under Contract No. MOST 104-2311-B-002-026 (K. Y. Lo), No. MOST 104-2112-M-030-002 (Y. S. Sun), and National Taiwan University Career Development Project (103R7888) (K. Y. Lo). The authors also thank the Center for Emerging Material and Advanced Devices, National Taiwan University, for the use of the cell culture room.....
|Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM)
|Cell culture medium
|detach cell from the dish
|Fetal bovine serum (FBS)
|Cell culture medium
|10-cm cell culture Petri dish
|Cell Counting Equipment
|0.07/0.22 mm double-sided tape
|Low melting point agarose
|Intracellular ROS measurement
|Indium tin oxide (ITO) glass
|JETEC Electronics Co.
|CO2 laser scriber
|Laser Tools & Technics Corp.
|Microfluidic chip fabrication
|Pumping medium and chemicals into the chip
|Supplying direct currents
|Monitoring cell migration
|Inverted fluorescent microscope
|Monitoring cell migartion and fluorescencent signals
|Recording bright-field images
|Recording fluorescent images
|Attaching adaptors to PMMA substrates
|Designing microfluidic chips
|National Institutes of Health
|Quantifying fluorescent intensities and cell migration
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