June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
The study of the adhesion behavior of cells is an active area of academic research and as such, is an increasingly important component of biomedical engineering education. However, in delivering engineering courses, it is often challenging to provide laboratory experience of cell-based adhesion assays to undergraduate students, as the lab work involved is expensive, delicate, and usually requires substantial experimental skill. This article reports the development of a novel lab experience for undergraduate students for which a self-contained microfluidic assay kit was designed to deliver controlled shear stress of fluid flow for detaching adherent cells inside microchannels. Cell adhesion strength is measured by the fraction of cells that remain adhered after the application of a defined shear stress for a fixed duration. Each prepackaged kit consists of one micro-chip containing microchannels and several cartridges containing all of the reagents including cells for each step of the assay. The kit incorporates a simple surface tension-based fluid handling mechanism that enables exchange of fluids between the micro-chip and the cartridges without any handheld pipettes or external equipment. Instructional material was also developed for the kit. In addition to a detailed procedure for the experiment and suggested observation based discussion questions, the kit includes an introduction to microfluidic technology, basic fluidic dynamics concepts, and cell adhesion biology. The instructional material is suitable for junior and senior level undergraduate students in biomedical engineering or any closely related discipline. The relative simplicity and affordability of the kit made it accessible to undergraduate students in a laboratory course, who judged the lab as a strongly positive learning experience.
Wu, Y., & de Groot, T. E., & Camacho, J., & McMinn, P. (2017, June), Board # 17 :An Educational Kit for Introducing Microfluidics-based Cell Adhesion Assay in Undergraduate Laboratory (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27796
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