Microfluidic perfusion system for automated delivery of temporal gradients to islets of Langerhans.

Analytical Chemistry
Xinyu Zhang, M G Roper


A microfluidic perfusion system was developed for automated delivery of stimulant waveforms to cells within the device. The 3-layer glass/polymer device contained two pneumatic pumps, a 12 cm mixing channel, and a 0.2 microL cell chamber. By altering the flow rate ratio of the pumps, a series of output concentrations could be produced while a constant 1.43 +/- 0.07 microL/min flow rate was maintained. The output concentrations could be changed in time producing step gradients and other waveforms, such as sine and triangle waves, at different amplitudes and frequencies. Waveforms were analyzed by comparing the amplitude of output waveforms to the amplitude of theoretical waveforms. Below a frequency of 0.0098 Hz, the output waveforms had less than 20% difference than input waveforms. To reduce backflow of solutions into the pumps, the operational sequence of the valving program was modified, as well as differential etching of the valve seat depths. These modifications reduced backflow to the point that it was not detected. Gradients in glucose levels were applied in this work to stimulate single islets of Langerhans. Glucose gradients between 3 and 20 mM brought clear and intense oscillations of intracellular [Ca(2+)] indicating...Continue Reading


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