A method for the assembly of adhesive and soluble gradients in a microscopy chamber for live cell migration studies is described. The engineered environment combines antifouling surfaces and adhesive tracks with solution gradients and therefore allows one to determine the relative importance of guidance cues.
Magnetically-Assisted Remote Controlled Microcatheter Tip Deflection under Magnetic Resonance Imaging
1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, 2School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 3Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF Medical Center, 4University of California, San Francisco, 5Hansen Medical, Mountain View, CA
Current applied to an endovascular microcatheter with microcoil tip made by laser lathe lithography can achieve controllable deflections under magnetic resonance (MR) guidance, which may improve speed and efficacy of navigation of vasculature during various endovascular procedures.
Nanomoulding of Functional Materials, a Versatile Complementary Pattern Replication Method to Nanoimprinting
1Institute of Microengineering (IMT), Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
We describe a nanomoulding technique which allows low-cost nanoscale patterning of functional materials, materials stacks and full devices. Nanomoulding can be performed on any nanoimprinting setup and can be applied to a wide range of materials and deposition processes.
The fabrication of electrically addressable, high-aspect-ratio (> 1000:1) metal nanowires separated by gaps of single nanometers using either sacrificial layers of aluminum and silver or self-assembled monolayers as templates is described. These nanogap structures are fabricated without a clean room or any photo- or electron-beam lithographic processes by a form of edge lithography known as nanoskiving.
Here are some highlights from the June 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Window on a Microworld: Simple Microfluidic Systems for Studying Microbial Transport in Porous Media
1Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education, Vanderbilt University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 3Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University, 4Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, 5Department of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut, 6Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut
Microfluidic devices can be used to visualize complex natural processes in real time and at the appropriate physical scales. We have developed a simple microfluidic device that mimics key features of natural porous media for studying growth and transport of bacteria in the subsurface.
We present a procedure for forming a poly(ethylene glycol) self-assembled monolayer (PEG-SAM) on a silicon substrate with gold microelectrodes. The PEG-SAM is formed in a single step and prevents biofouling on silicon and gold surfaces. Electrophoresis is then used for patterning biomolecules down to the nanoscale.
A micropunching lithography approach is developed to generate micro- and submicron-patterns on top, sidewall and bottom surfaces of polymer substrates. It overcomes the obstacles of patterning conducting polymers and generating sidewall patterns. This method allows rapid fabrication of multiple features and is free of aggressive chemistry.
A versatile plasma lithography technique has been developed to generate stable surface patterns for guiding cellular attachment. This technique can be applied to create cell networks including those that mimic natural tissues and has been used for studying several, distinct cell types.
We describe experimental details of the synthesis of patterned and reconfigurable particles from two dimensional (2D) precursors. This methodology can be used to create particles in a variety of shapes including polyhedra and grasping devices at length scales ranging from the micro to centimeter scale.
In this protocol, we demonstrate the fabrication of a microactuator array of vertically displaced posts on which the technology is based, and how this base technology can be modified to conduct high-throughput mechanically dynamic cell culture in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional culture paradigms.
We developed a novel multi-compartment neuron co-culture microsystem platform for in vitro CNS axon-glia interaction research. The platform is capable of conducting up to six independent experiments in parallel and was fabricated using a newly developed macro/micro hybrid fabrication method.
Evaluation of Cancer Stem Cell Migration Using Compartmentalizing Microfluidic Devices and Live Cell Imaging
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Materials Science Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A compartmentalizing microfluidic device for investigating cancer stem cell migration is described. This novel platform creates a viable cellular microenvironment and enables microscopic visualization of live cell locomotion. Highly motile cancer cells are isolated to study molecular mechanisms of aggressive infiltration, potentially leading to more effective future therapies.
Microfluidic-based Electrotaxis for On-demand Quantitative Analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans' Locomotion
A semi-automated micro-electro-fluidic method to induce on-demand locomotion in Caenorhabditis elegans is described. This method is based on the neurophysiologic phenomenon of worms responding to mild electric fields (“electrotaxis”) inside microfluidic channels. Microfluidic electrotaxis serves as a rapid, sensitive, low-cost, and scalable technique to screen for factors affecting neuronal health.
In this article, we present a microfluidic-based method for particle confinement based on hydrodynamic flow. We demonstrate stable particle trapping at a fluid stagnation point using a feedback control mechanism, thereby enabling confinement and micromanipulation of arbitrary particles in an integrated microdevice.
The fabrication of microfluidic channels and their implementation in experiments for studying the chemotactic foraging behaviour of marine microbes within a patchy nutrient seascape and the swimming behaviour of bacteria within shear flow are described.
We present a simple method to produce microfluidic devices capable of applying similar dynamic conditions to multiple distinct strains, without the need for a clean room or soft lithography.
Use of photonic crystal slow light waveguides and cavities has been widely adopted by the photonics community in many differing applications. Therefore fabrication and characterization of these devices are of great interest. This paper outlines our fabrication technique and two optical characterization methods, namely: interferometric (waveguides) and resonant scattering (cavities).
Combining monodisperse drop generation with inertial ordering of cells and particles, we describe a method to encapsulate a desired number of cells or particles in a single drop at kHz rates. We demonstrate efficiencies twice exceeding those of unordered encapsulation for single- and double-particle drops.
Here we describe a simple method for patterning oxide-free silicon and germanium with reactive organic monolayers and demonstrate functionalization of the patterned substrates with small molecules and proteins. The approach completely protects surfaces from chemical oxidation, provides precise control over feature morphology, and provides ready access to chemically discriminated patterns.
We demonstrate fabrication of a simple microfluidic device that can be integrated with standard electrophysiology setups to expose microscale surfaces of a brain slice in a well controlled manner to different neurotransmitters.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here are some highlights from the October 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Time-lapse Fluorescence Imaging of Arabidopsis Root Growth with Rapid Manipulation of The Root Environment Using The RootChip
1Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 2Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 3Departments of Applied Physics and Bioengineering, Stanford University, 4Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) and Center for Biological Signaling Studies (BIOSS), University of Freiburg
This article provides a protocol for cultivation of Arabidopsis seedlings in the RootChip, a microfluidic imaging platform that combines automated control of growth conditions with microscopic root monitoring and FRET-based measurement of intracellular metabolite levels.
We present a microfluidic approach for the expression of protein arrays. The device consists of thousands of reaction chambers controlled by micro-mechanical valves. The microfluidic device is mated to a microarray-printed gene library. These genes are then transcribed and translated on-chip, resulting in a protein array ready for experimental use.
We present methods for fabrication of patterned microstructures of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and their use as master molds for production of polymer microstructures with organized nanoscale surface texture. The CNT forests are densified by condensation of solvent onto the substrate, which significantly increases their packing density and enables self-directed formation of 3D shapes.
1Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, 2Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, 3Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, 4Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
A method to culture an endothelial cell monolayer throughout the entire inner 3D surface of a microfluidic device with microvascular-sized channels (<30 μm) is described. This in vitro microvasculature model enables the study of biophysical interactions between blood cells, endothelial cells, and soluble factors in hematologic diseases.
The following setup approach details low power optical trapping of dielectric nanoparticles using a double-nanohole in metal film.
Micro-particle image velocimetry (μPIV) is used to visualize paired images of micro particles seeded in blood flows which are cross-correlated to give an accurate velocity profile. Shear rate, maximum velocity, velocity profile shape, and flow rate, each of which has clinical applications, can be derived from these measurements.
The generation of aligned myocardial tissue is a key requirement for adapting the recent advances in stem cell biology to clinically useful purposes. Herein we describe a microcontact printing approach for the precise control of cell shape and function. Using highly purified populations of embryonic stem cell derived cardiac progenitors, we then generate anisotropic functional myocardial tissue.
A novel microfluidic system has been developed using the phenomenon of passive pumping and a user controlled fluid delivery system. This microfluidic system has the potential to be used in a wide variety of biological applications given its low cost, ease of use, volumetric precision, high speed, repeatability and automation.
In this video, we demonstrate how to fabricate and utilize microfabricated post array detectors (mPADs) to assess modulations of cellular contractility.
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) formed from long chain alkane thiols on gold provide well-defined substrates for the formation of protein patterns and cell confinement. Microcontact printing of hexadecanethiol using a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) stamp followed by backfilling with a glycol-terminated alkane thiol monomer produces a pattern where protein and cells adsorb only to the stamped hexadecanethiol region.
We describe the use of a carbon dioxide laser reflow technique to fabricate silica resonant cavities, including free-standing microspheres and on-chip microtoroids. The reflow method removes surface imperfections, allowing long photon lifetimes within both devices. The resulting devices have ultra high quality factors, enabling applications ranging from telecommunications to biodetection.
Femtosecond-laser direct-writing is frequently used to create three-dimensional (3D) patterns in polymers and glasses. However, patterning metals in 3D remains a challenge. We describe a method for fabricating silver nanostructures embedded inside a polymer matrix using a femtosecond laser centered at 800 nm.
Microfluidic flow chambers etched by photolithography and fabricated from PDMS are applied to probe functional outcomes associated with EC dysfunction and inflammation. In a representative experiment, the ability of differential shear stress to modulate monocytic cell adhesion to cytokine activated EC monolayers is demonstrated.
We present the procedure for fabrication and operation of a microfluidic device that recreates heterogeneous tumor microenvironments in vitro. The variability in apoptosis within tumor tissue was quantified using fluorescent stains and the effective diffusion coefficient of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin into tumor tissue was evaluated.
Density Gradient Multilayered Polymerization (DGMP): A Novel Technique for Creating Multi-compartment, Customizable Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
1Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 2Biomedical Sciences Program, University of California, San Diego, 3Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego
Here we describe a unique strategy for creating biocompatible, layered matrices with continuous interfaces between distinct layers for tissue engineering. Such a scaffold could provide an ideal customizable environment to modulate cell behavior by various biological, chemical or mechanical cues
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here's a look at what's coming up in the February 2013 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Fabrication of Micropatterned Hydrogels for Neural Culture Systems using Dynamic Mask Projection Photolithography
Simple techniques are described for the rapid production of microfabricated neural culture systems using a digital micromirror device for dynamic mask projection lithography on regular cell culture substrates. These culture systems may be more representative of natural biological architecture, and the techniques described could be adapted for numerous applications.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 2Stem Cell Research Center, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 3Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
In this video we demonstrate the technique of soft lithography with polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) which we use to farbricate a microfluidic device for culturing neurons.
A simple microfluidic device has been developed to perform anesthetic free in vivo imaging of C. elegans, intact Drosophila larvae and zebrafish larvae. The device utilizes a deformable PDMS membrane to immobilize these model organisms in order to perform time lapse imaging of numerous processes such as heart beat, cell division and sub-cellular neuronal transport. We demonstrate the use of this device and show examples of different types of data collected from different model systems.
Micro 3D Printing Using a Digital Projector and its Application in the Study of Soft Materials Mechanics
We demonstrate controlled pattern transformation of swelling gel tubes by elastic instability. A simple projection micro stereo-lithography setup is built using an off-the-shelf digital data projector to fabricate three-dimensional polymeric structures in a layer-by-layer fashion. Swelling hydrogel tubes under mechanical constraint display various circumferential buckling modes depending on dimension.
We demonstrate protocols for manufacturing and automating elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based microvalve arrays that need no extra energy to close and feature photolithographically defined precise volumes. A parallel subnanoliter-volume mixer and an integrated microfluidic perfusion system are presented.
Solution-suspendable gold nanotubes with controlled dimensions can be synthesized by electrochemical deposition in porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes using a hydrophobic polymer core. Gold nanotubes and nanotube arrays hold promise for applications in plasmonic biosensing, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, photo-thermal heating, ionic and molecular transport, microfluidics, catalysis and electrochemical sensing.