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 cellular studies, defining 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) 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; 2) A device designed to coencapsulate oocytes in core-shell hydrogel particles with granulosa and theca cells, to mimic the ovarian follicle environment; and 3) the use of microfluidic droplet generators to encapsulate cells and barcoded primers for high-throughput single-cell sequencing. 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