Concentration landscape generators for shear free dynamic chemical stimulation

M. Morel , J.C. Galas , M. Dahan , V. Studer

Bibtex , URL
Lab Chip, 12, 7
Published 01 Jan. 2012
DOI: 10.1039/c2lc20994b
ISSN: 1473-0197


In this paper we first introduce a novel fabrication process, which allows for easy integration of thin track-etched nanoporous membranes, within 2D or 3D microchannel networks. In these networks, soluble chemical compounds can diffuse out of the channels through well-defined and spatially organized microfabricated porous openings. Interestingly, multiple micron-scale porous areas can be integrated in the same device and each of these areas can be connected to a different microfluidic channel and reservoir. We then present and characterize several membrane-based microdevices and their use for the generation of stable diffusible concentration gradients and complex dynamic chemical landscapes under shear free conditions. We also demonstrate how a simple flow-focusing geometry can be used to generate ``on-demand'' concentration profiles. In turn, these devices should provide an ideal experimental framework for high throughput cell-based assays: long term high-resolution video microscopy experiments can be performed, under multiple spatially and temporally controlled chemical conditions, with simple protocols and in a cell-friendly environment.