Microfluidic systems enable automated and highly parallelized cell culture with low volumes and defined liquid dosing. To achieve this, systems typically integrate all functions into a single, monolithic device as a "one size fits all" solution. However, this approach limits the end users' (re)design flexibility and complicates the addition of new functions to the system.
To address this challenge, the authors propose and demonstrate a modular and standardized plug-and-play fluidic circuit board (FCB) for operating microfluidic building blocks (MFBBs), whereby both the FCB and the MFBBs contain integrated valves. A single FCB can parallelize up to three MFBBs of the same design or operate MFBBs with entirely different architectures. Each of the MFBBs features 64 microchambers suitable for cell culturing with high spatiotemporal control.
The authors show as a proof of principle that it is possible to culture human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) for multiple days in the chambers of this MFBB.
This novel modular approach to operating an automated microfluidic system for parallelized cell culture will enable greater experimental flexibility and facilitate the cooperation of different chips from different labs.
Modular operation of microfluidic chips for highly parallelized cell culture and liquid dosing via a fluidic circuit board
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