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Board # 17 :An Educational Kit for Introducing Microfluidics-based Cell Adhesion Assay in Undergraduate Laboratory (Work in Progress)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

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Yan Wu University of Wisconsin, Platteville Orcid 16x16

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Yan Wu graduated from Tsinghua University, Bejing, China, in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in precision instruments and a minor in electronics and computer yechnology. She received her M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in 1998. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2005. Her Ph.D. thesis work was in the area of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) with a focus on effect of space charges on micro- to nano-scale electrostatic actuation. Upon receiving her Ph.D., she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering in the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where worked in multiple projects using scanning probe microscopy to study material properties. In 2009, Yan Wu joined the faculty of the Department of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. From fall 2015 to summer 2016, Yan Wu completed one year of sabbatical as a visiting scholar in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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Theodorus Evan de Groot University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Jorge Camacho


Patrick McMinn University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Graduate Research Assistant

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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. 10.18260/1-2--27796

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