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Microfabricated structures for biology

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • J. Yoon
  • M. Chandrangsu
  • K. Mora
  • N.Y. Morgan


Originally developed for the semiconductor industry, microfabrication techniques are now routinely used to make biocompatible devices with dimensions ranging from a few microns to a millimeter. These devices can be particularly useful for studies of cells, by providing simple confinement or defining microenvironments on platforms compatible with high-resolution optical imaging. Using our on-campus facility for microdevice fabrication, 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) simple polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microwells and other microstructures for fast imaging of acrosome exocytosis and egg fertilization; 3) a PDMS microfluidic device for depositing a surface gradient of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, subsequently used for neural cell culture. In addition, we provide an overview of fabrication techniques, material choices, and design considerations for researchers interested in using microfabrication in their own work.

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