Advanced microfluidic cell culture systems have been increasingly used in tissue engineering, diagnostics, drug screening, immunology, cancer research, stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and other fields. Microfluidic technology enables dynamic cell culture in microperfusion systems.

Cells are cultured on microfluidic devices with channels that facilitate diffusion of substrates, nutrients, and reagents delivered by continuous perfusion systems. Unlike conventional cell culture methods, cell culture systems based on microfluidic technology provide precise, controllable, cost-effective, compact, integrated, and high-throughput microsystems. Microfluidic devices are capable of creating gradient concentrations of biochemical signals such as growth factors, chemokines and hormones, and replicating complex three-dimensional structures of tissues and organs.

Product Range

Amerigo Scientific offers four microfluidic chips made of medical-grade plastics cycloolefin polymer (COP) and cycloolefin copolymer (COC) to meet a variety of research needs in 2D/3D cell culture.

Product Name Applications
BE-GRADIENT a chip for 3D cell culture under an electrochemical gradient
BE-FLOW an ideal device to study in the effect of flow and mechanical stress on cell culture
BE-DOUBLEFLOW an ideal device used for endothelium/epithelium barrier coculture environment where hypoxia or flux plays a role
BE-TRANSFLOW an ideal chip for air liquid interface (ALI) cell culture and coculture research (skin, cornea, gut, lung)

Key Benefits

  • High Compatibility with Optical Microscopes

Our microfluidic chips are compatible with any type of optical microscopy (confocal, fluorescence, etc.) and their slide format is designed for easy handling under a microscope. The microfluidic chambers, wells and channels in our chips match 96 well plate positions, so our chips are compatible with automated microscopy.

  • High Compatibility with Microfluidic Flow Control Systems

Our microfluidic chips are compatible with all microfluidic flow control systems, such as syringe, peristaltic pumps, pressure control systems, and rocker systems.

  • No Unspecific Absorption

Our microfluidic chips are made of lipophobic and thermoplastic materials that do not cause unspecific drug absorption issues. Therefore, unlike polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based devices, our chips can be used for fluorescent immunohistochemical detection.

  • Cell Recovered for Downstream Applications

Cell cultured in our chip can be easily recovered and can be used for downstream applications. (Click here to learn more)

Example Applications

Material Characteristics

Our microfluidic chips are made of medical grade plastic cycloolefin polymers (COP) and cycloolefin copolymers (COC).

  • Impermeability

These materials have a very low permeability to oxygen and water vapor, allowing precise control of the concentration of these gases within the microchannel and even hypoxia experiments inside our chips.

  • No Nonspecific Adsorption

COP and COC are lipophobic materials without unspecific absorption issue, so our chips can be used for drug development and diffusion experiments.

  • Outstanding Optical Properties

These properties of COP and COC, including transparency in the visible and near UV range, low birefringence, high Abbe number, make them ideal materials for microscope applications.

  • Remarkable Chemical and Heat Resistance

COP and COC have remarkable chemical resistance to acids and polar solvents. The glass transition temperature of both materials is high, approaching 190 °C in some formulations.

FAQs

    • Are the microfluidic chips sterile?
      • Yes, all the chips are sterilized and stored in individual packages. We guarantee the sterility and hydrophilicity of the chips up to 6 months after shipment.

    • Are the microfluidic chips autofluorescence?
      • No, our chips are made of COP, a plastic material that doesn’t produce autofluorescence. But our products can be used for fluorescence experiments. Be-Transflow with a black upper piece minimizes spurious reflections of the laser in the culture well to optimize fluorescence images.

    • What type of connectors are needed to use these chips?
      • We offer two connector kits compatible with any type of microfluidic flow control system. The choice of the connector kit depends on the type of microfluidic flow control at your disposal:

        •   Peristaltic/syringe pump connection kit: 10 connectors and 2 m of tygon tube 3/32″ OD 1/32 ID
        •   Microfluidic flow control system connector kit: 10 connectors, 10 ferrules for microfluidic control system y 1,5 m FEP Tubing 1/16″ OD x 1/32″ ID.

        If the shear stress is going to be applied using a rocker, there is no need for connectors, but it is necessary to use the chip lids during the experiment to avoid contamination.

    • Can isopropanol or acetone be added on these chips?
      • Yes, COP is highly resistant to chemicals such as alcohols, acids, or aliphatic compounds.

    • How does the oxygen reach the cells if COP is impermeable?
      • Oxygen can be supplied to the cells via culture media. In fact, impermeability is one of the greatest advantages of our products as an organ-on-a-chip (OOC), which allows precise control of the oxygen levels in cell culture and even mimics the hypoxic environment in the body.

    • Can these chip products be customized?
      • Yes, our chips can be customized. We will modify product properties such as the pore size of the membrane, channel size, and shape to suit your needs.

    • Can we use our own membranes on these chips?
      • Yes. Among our customizable products, we offer chips that can be used with your own membranes. These chips without a base can be bonded in site to any base using a strong biocompatible adhesive.

    • Can these chips be used in series?
      • Yes, our connectors can be used to connect several chips in series. This is often used to study the crosstalk between different tissues.

Publications

  1. De Miguel, D. et al. TRAIL-coated lipid-nanoparticles overcome resistance to soluble recombinant TRAIL in non-small cell lung cancer cells. Nanotechnology 27, 185101 (2016).
  2. Ayuso, J. M. et al. SU-8 Based Microdevices to Study Self-Induced Chemotaxis in 3D Microenvironments. Front. Mater. 2, 1–10 (2015).
  3. De Miguel, D. et al. TRAIL-coated lipid-nanoparticles overcome resistance to soluble recombinant TRAIL in non-small cell lung cancer cells. Nanotechnology 27, 185101 (2016).
  4. De Miguel, D. et al. Improved Anti-Tumor Activity of Novel Highly Bioactive Liposome-Bound TRAIL in Breast Cancer Cells. Recent Pat. Anticancer. Drug Discov. 11, 197–214 (2016).
  5. De Miguel, D. et al. High-order TRAIL oligomer formation in TRAIL-coated lipid nanoparticles enhances DR5 cross-linking and increases antitumour effect against colon cancer. Cancer Lett. 383, 250–260 (2016).
  6. Ayuso, J. M. et al. Development and characterization of a microfluidic model of the tumour microenvironment. Sci. Rep. 6, 36086 (2016).
  7. Martínez-gonzález, A. et al. Systems Biology of Tumor Microenvironment. vol. 936 (Springer International Publishing, 2016).
  8. Ayuso, J. M. et al. Glioblastoma on a microfluidic chip: Generating pseudopalisades and enhancing aggressiveness through blood vessel obstruction events. Neuro. Oncol. 19, now230 (2017).
  9. Virumbrales-Muñoz, M. et al. Enabling cell recovery from 3D cell culture microfluidic devices for tumour microenvironment biomarker profiling. Sci. Rep. 9, (2019).

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