In wounds, cells secret biomolecules such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that controls many processes in healing. VEGF protein is expressed in a gradient in tissue, and its shape will be affected by the tissue injury sustained during wounding. In order to study the responses of keratinocyte cell migration to VEGF gradients and the geometric factors on wound healing, we designed a microfluidic gradient device that can generate large area gradients (1.5 cm in diameter) capable of mimicking arbitrary wound shapes. Microfluidic devices offer novel techniques to address biological and biomedical issues. Different from other gradient microfluidics, our device balances diffusion of biomolecules versus the convective clearance by a buffer flow on the opposite ends of the gradient. This allows us to create a large area gradient within shorter time scales by actively driving mass transport. In addition, the microfluidic device makes use of a porous filter membrane to create this balance as well as to deliver the resulting gradient to a culture of cells. The culture of cells are seeded above the gradient in a gasket chamber. However, Keratinocytes do not migrate effectively on filter paper. Therefore, in order to improve the motility of cells on the surface, we coated the filter paper with a 30m thick layer of gelatin type B. after observation under the microscope we found that the gelatin coated sample showed cells with more spread out morphology, with 97% viability, suggesting better adhesion than the non-coated sample.
Mohammed-Baker I. Habhab, Tania Ismail, Joe F. Lo, and Arefa Haque, "Aqueous gradient by balancing diffusive and convective mass transport
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9705, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XIV, 970515 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 26 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2217698.4848702702001.
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