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Microfluidic Enabling Platform for Cell-Based Assays

Dmitriy Kashanin, Siobhan Mitchell, Yuri Volkov, Vivienne Williams, Igor Shvets, Dermot Kelleher
Trinity College Dublin, IE

Keywords: microfluidics, biochips, drug discovery

Here we present disposable biochips and biological assay methods for the analysis of cell-drug interaction. Standard lithographic and hot embossing processes resulted in the fabrication of microchannels and complex two-dimensional interconnecting structures in a range of thermoplastic materials. These optically transparent structures are ideal for imaging of cells within the channels using an optically inverted microscope. We employ a proprietary pumping system which enables the regulation and control of flow at a wide range of flow rates, facilitating the transport of fluids with different properties such as viscosity, chemical reagents, pH, ionic strength and allowing the transport of fluids containing particles with comparable sizes to microcapillaries. In the assays presented, the microchannels of the biochip were covered with antibodies (VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and a combination of both) at varying concentrations or with an endothelium cell layer, imitating to a certain extent, natural cell receptor/ligand interaction in inflamed capillary blood vessels. Due to the biochip design, channels with different coatings could be analysed simultaneously. These biochips and complementing experimental set-up resulted in the successful observation of the flow of human cells (PBLs, T-cells, neutrophils, blood) and their reaction to a number of different drugs within the microchannels.

NSTI Nanotech 2003 Conference Technical Program Abstract

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