Integrated microfluidic devices for combinatorial cell-based assays

Biomed Microdevices. 2009 Jun;11(3):547-55. doi: 10.1007/s10544-008-9260-x.


The development of miniaturized cell culture platforms for performing parallel cultures and combinatorial assays is important in cell biology from the single-cell level to the system level. In this paper we developed an integrated microfluidic cell-culture platform, Cell-microChip (Cell-microChip), for parallel analyses of the effects of microenvironmental cues (i.e., culture scaffolds) on different mammalian cells and their cellular responses to external stimuli. As a model study, we demonstrated the ability of culturing and assaying several mammalian cells, such as NIH 3T3 fibroblast, B16 melanoma and HeLa cell lines, in a parallel way. For functional assays, first we tested drug-induced apoptotic responses from different cell lines. As a second functional assay, we performed "on-chip" transfection of a reporter gene encoding an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) followed by live-cell imaging of transcriptional activation of cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2) expression. Collectively, our Cell-microChip approach demonstrated the capability to carry out parallel operations and the potential to further integrate advanced functions and applications in the broader space of combinatorial chemistry and biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Annexin A5 / metabolism
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Bioreactors
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Dactinomycin / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Equipment Design
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibronectins / analysis
  • Fibronectins / immunology
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Melanoma, Experimental / metabolism
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Staurosporine / pharmacology
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transfection


  • Annexin A5
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Fibronectins
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Dactinomycin
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Staurosporine