Three-dimensional extracellular matrix-mediated neural stem cell differentiation in a microfluidic device

Lab Chip. 2012 Jul 7;12(13):2305-8. doi: 10.1039/c2lc21285d. Epub 2012 May 23.


Here, we report a unique method to quantify the effects of in vivo-like extracellular matrix (ECM) for guiding differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in three-dimensional (3D) microenvironments using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We successfully monitored and quantified differentiation of NSCs in small volume ECMs and found that differentiation of NSCs, especially those differentiating towards neuronal and oligodendrocytic lineages, is significantly enhanced by 3D microenvironments reconstituted in the microfluidic channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes / chemistry
  • Extracellular Matrix / genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods*
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • Hydrogels
  • baysilon