2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

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Clean Technology 2008

A capillary effect based microfluidic system for high throughput screening of yeast cells

M. Mirzaei, D. Juncker
McGill University, CA

yeast, capilary, microfluidic, high throughput screening

Microfluidic systems have been developed and used for high throughput cell-based assays successfully. However, these systems require complicated peripherals and a computer to control the flow, which limits their adoption by biologists. Here, we propose a simple-to-use microfluidic system based on capillary effects for single cell entrapment, rapid exchange of reagents, and multiplexed assays with high throughput. The system consists of an autonomous capillary microfluidic systems molded into PDMS, coverslips with patterned arrays of microcompartments to be sealed against the PDMS chip, a wicking pad, and a custom-built holder that can be mounted onto an inverted confocal microscope. Yeast cells were immobilized in the microcompartments using a 3 step procedure: (i) microwells were filled with dilute agarose solution using selective dewetting. Concentration of the agarose solution was adjusted so that (ii) upon evaporation of the excess water, agarose gelated at the bottom of the wells only. (iii) The substrate was sealed to a capillary system and yeast cells were flown through microchannel and selectively adhered to the agarose only. Next, the PDMS chip was detached, and a new chip placed orthogonally over the microwells so as to expose 10 different cell “lines” to 10 different “columns” of chemicals while observing them with a microscope. The overall system is easy to manufacture, simple to use and allows analysis of 100 different conditions while being compatible with high resolution microscopy.

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract