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Proceedings Paper

Tailoring microfluidic systems for organ-like cell culture applications using multiphysics simulations
Author(s): Britta Hagmeyer; Julia Schütte; Jan Böttger; Rolf Gebhardt; Martin Stelzle
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Paper Abstract

Replacing animal testing with in vitro cocultures of human cells is a long-term goal in pre-clinical drug tests used to gain reliable insight into drug-induced cell toxicity. However, current state-of-the-art 2D or 3D cell cultures aiming at mimicking human organs in vitro still lack organ-like morphology and perfusion and thus organ-like functions. To this end, microfluidic systems enable construction of cell culture devices which can be designed to more closely resemble the smallest functional unit of organs. Multiphysics simulations represent a powerful tool to study the various relevant physical phenomena and their impact on functionality inside microfluidic structures. This is particularly useful as it allows for assessment of system functions already during the design stage prior to actual chip fabrication. In the HepaChip®, dielectrophoretic forces are used to assemble human hepatocytes and human endothelial cells in liver sinusoid-like structures. Numerical simulations of flow distribution, shear stress, electrical fields and heat dissipation inside the cell assembly chambers as well as surface wetting and surface tension effects during filling of the microchannel network supported the design of this human-liver-on-chip microfluidic system for cell culture applications. Based on the device design resulting thereof, a prototype chip was injection-moulded in COP (cyclic olefin polymer). Functional hepatocyte and endothelial cell cocultures were established inside the HepaChip® showing excellent metabolic and secretory performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 March 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8615, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XI, 861509 (9 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2002475
Show Author Affiliations
Britta Hagmeyer, Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Julia Schütte, Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Univ. Tübingen (Germany)
Jan Böttger, Univ. Leipzig (Germany)
Rolf Gebhardt, Univ. Leipzig (Germany)
Martin Stelzle, Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Univ. Tübingen (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8615:
Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XI
Holger Becker; Bonnie L. Gray, Editor(s)

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