A new chemotaxis device for cell migration studies

Integr Biol (Camb). 2010 Nov;2(11-12):696-706. doi: 10.1039/c0ib00044b. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


This study presents the design and optimization for in vitro use of a new versatile chemotaxis device called the NANIVID (NANo IntraVital Imaging Device), developed using advanced nano/micro fabrication techniques. The device is fabricated using microphotolithographic techniques and two substrates are bonded together using a thin polymer layer creating a sealed device with one outlet. The main structure of the device consists of two Pyrex substrates: an etched chemoattractant reservoir and a top cover, with a final size of 0.2 × 2 × 3 mm. This reservoir contains a hydrogel blend with EGF which diffuses out through a small (∼9.10(3)μm(2)) outlet. This reservoir sustains a steady release of growth factor into the surrounding environment for several hours establishing a consistent concentration gradient from the device. The focus of this study was to design and optimize the new device for cell chemotaxis studies in breast cancer cells in cell culture. Our results show that we have created a flexible, cheap, miniature and autonomous chemotaxis device and demonstrate its usefulness in 2D and 3D cell culture. We also provide preliminary data for use of the device in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis / physiology*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Nanotechnology
  • Rats


  • Hydrogels
  • Epidermal Growth Factor