A Microfluidic Stem Cell Culture System for Real-Time Imaging
Poster presented at the 2008 World Stem Cell Summit
B. Weatherly and D. Poon
Traditional methods to monitor and record cellular response to stimuli require time-, labor-, and materials-intensive efforts. A typical time-course experiment such as stem cell culturing, proliferation, and differentiation performed in well plates have the inherent limitations of necessitating dedicated personnel for the entire time-course, periodic disruption of incubation during microscopic observation, potential well-to-well variability, and using milliliters of reagents and millions of cells.
The cellTRAY® Live Cell Imaging System is specifically designed for real-time monitoring of dynamic cellular processes in live cells when automated precise control of the microenvironment and data capture are required. This enabling technology allows researchers to examine cell responses to external stimuli such as drugs, growth factors and environmental changes with the benefits of automation, consistent and statistically significant data capture, multiplex experimentation, and reduce materials consumption.
A microfabricated live cell containment device called cellTRAY® is designed specifically for culturing and imaging cells. The device enables the precise containment of a small number of cells in an optical glass substrate comprising a micro-array of wells for experimentation and imaging. Due to its miniaturized form, only a small number of cells are needed, and microliters of fluid are required to support the entire cell population. Microfluidic channels are embedded in the device and an active pump system allows the controlled delivery of nutrients, growth factors and differentiation agents to the stem cells in a controlled micro-environment. Stem cells are usually cultured over many days to weeks which the platform is ideally suited for. The cellTRAY is the only microfluidic device that is fluidically closed but mechanically open, allowing extraction of cells at any stage.