A Microfluidic Bioreactor for Toxicity Testing of Stem Cell Derived 3D Cardiac Bodies

Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1502:159-68. doi: 10.1007/7651_2016_340.


Modeling tissues and organs using conventional 2D cell cultures is problematic as the cells rapidly lose their in vivo phenotype. In microfluidic bioreactors the cells reside in microstructures that are continuously perfused with cell culture medium to provide a dynamic environment mimicking the cells natural habitat. These micro scale bioreactors are sometimes referred to as organs-on-chips and are developed in order to improve and extend cell culture experiments. Here, we describe the two manufacturing techniques photolithography and soft lithography that are used in order to easily produce microfluidic bioreactors. The use of these bioreactors is exemplified by a toxicity assessment on 3D clustered human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes by beating frequency imaging.

Keywords: 3D cell culture models; Cardiac bodies (CBs); Cardiomyocytes; Drug assessment; Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs); Microfluidics; Organ-on-a-chip; Photolithography; Soft lithography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioreactors*
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / instrumentation
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods
  • Microtechnology / instrumentation
  • Microtechnology / methods
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Toxicity Tests / instrumentation*
  • Toxicity Tests / methods