We present a microfluidic chip for an easy setup of a 3D-culture of mammalian cells. The chip contains feeding structures and gas supply for long-term cultivation of mammalian cells. The device is fabricated out of hard materials like silicon and glass that are all highly biocompatible. The chip uses the concept of surficial phaseguides that allows the partial filling of a microfluidic chip with liquids based on hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces. Here, a suspension of mammalian cells and melted agarose is filled into the chip and is pulled by the capillary pressure on the hydrophilic areas but not on the hydrophobic phaseguides. Consequently, only a part of the chip is filled with the agarose which gels by cooling a form the 3D-cell culture. The unfilled areas are used as supply structures for nutrition and gases. So the supply is based on diffusion and the supply of nutrition and gases is controlled independently. We cultured HaCaT-cells over 24 hours in our device and achieve a good viability.
Frank Bunge, Sander van den Driesche, and Michael J. Vellekoop, "Easy-to-use microfluidic chip for long-term 3D-cell cultures," Proc. SPIE 10247, Bio-MEMS and Medical Microdevices III, 1024706 (Presented at SPIE Microtechnologies: May 10, 2017; Published: 30 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265734.
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