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Sensors 2011, 11(9), 8395-8411; doi:10.3390/s110908395
Article

Development of an Integrated Microfluidic Perfusion Cell Culture System for Real-Time Microscopic Observation of Biological Cells

1,†
,
2,†
,
3,*  and 1
1 Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 82445, Taiwan 2 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan 3 Graduate Institute of Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 July 2011 / Revised: 26 August 2011 / Accepted: 26 August 2011 / Published: 29 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
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Abstract

This study reports an integrated microfluidic perfusion cell culture system consisting of a microfluidic cell culture chip, and an indium tin oxide (ITO) glass-based microheater chip for micro-scale perfusion cell culture, and its real-time microscopic observation. The system features in maintaining both uniform, and stable chemical or thermal environments, and providing a backflow-free medium pumping, and a precise thermal control functions. In this work, the performance of the medium pumping scheme, and the ITO glass microheater were experimentally evaluated. Results show that the medium delivery mechanism was able to provide pumping rates ranging from 15.4 to 120.0 μL·min−1. In addition, numerical simulation and experimental evaluation were conducted to verify that the ITO glass microheater was capable of providing a spatially uniform thermal environment, and precise temperature control with a mild variation of ±0.3 °C. Furthermore, a perfusion cell culture was successfully demonstrated, showing the cultured cells were kept at high cell viability of 95 ± 2%. In the process, the cultured chondrocytes can be clearly visualized microscopically. As a whole, the proposed cell culture system has paved an alternative route to carry out real-time microscopic observation of biological cells in a simple, user-friendly, and low cost manner.
Keywords: microfluidics; cell culture; micropumps; microheaters; ITO glass microfluidics; cell culture; micropumps; microheaters; ITO glass
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lin, J.-L.; Wang, S.-S.; Wu, M.-H.; Oh-Yang, C.-C. Development of an Integrated Microfluidic Perfusion Cell Culture System for Real-Time Microscopic Observation of Biological Cells. Sensors 2011, 11, 8395-8411.

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