NIH Research Festival
Microfabricated devices with dimensions ranging from a few microns to a millimeter can now be routinely made out of biocompatible materials including glass, thermoplastics, elastomers, and hydrogels. Such devices can be particularly useful for in vitro models, because they can be used to define cellular microenvironments, at lengthscales that mimic in vivo structures, on platforms compatible with high-resolution optical imaging. Using our on-campus microfabrication facility, we have made a number of devices in close collaboration with other intramural groups, using an iterative design process. This poster will discuss a few examples that highlight the potential range of applications, including: 1) an agarose device used for spatiotemporal control of chemical gradients across a 3D collagen network, for the study of immune cell chemotaxis; 2) a bioreactor system that uses a multiwell plate format, in which an oxygen-transmissive membrane, patterned with arrays of micropillars spaced at typical intercapillary distances, controls gas exchange for 3D cell culture; 3) PDMS microfluidic gradient generators used to pattern surfaces with chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans for subsequently use in neural cell culture; and 4) the generation of uniform microdroplets and capsules for confining single cells. In addition, we provide an overview of fabrication techniques and design considerations for researchers interested in using customized microdevices in their own work.
Scientific Focus Area: Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021