In microfluidics-based lab-on-a-chip systems, which are used for investigating the effect of drugs and growth factors on cells, the latter are usually cultured within the device's channels in two-dimensional, and not in their optimal three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment. Herein, we address this shortfall by designing a microfluidic system, comprised of two layers. The upper layer of the system consists of multiple channels generating a gradient of soluble factors. The lower layer is comprised of multiple wells, each deposited with 3D, nanofibrous scaffold. We first used a mathematical model to characterize the fluid flow within the system. We then show that induced pluripotent stem cells can be seeded within the 3D scaffolds and be exposed to a well-mixed gradient of soluble factors. We believe that utilizing such system may enable in the future to identify new differentiation factors, investigate drug toxicity, and eventually allow to perform analyses on patient-specific tissues, in order to fit the appropriate combination and concentration of drugs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering