REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0309.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: lab-on-a-chip; cell migration; microfluidics; PDMS; hydrogels; femtosecond laser microfabrication; two-photon polymerization
Online: 22 June 2022 (08:21:44 CEST)
Understanding cell migration is a key step to unravel many physiological phenomena and predict several pathologies, like cancer metastasis. In particular, mechanical confinement has been proved to be a key factor in the cellular migration strategy choice. As our insight in the field improves, new tools are needed in order to empower biologists’ analysis capabilities. In this framework, microfluidic devices have been used to engineer the mechanical stimuli and to investigate cellular migration response in a more controlled way. In this work, we will review the existing technologies employed in the realization of microfluidic cellular migration assays, namely soft lithography of PDMS and hydrogels and femtosecond laser micromachining. We will give an overview of the state of the art of these devices, focusing on the different geometrical configurations that have been exploited to study specific aspects of cellular migration. Our scope is to highlight the advantages and possibilities given by each approach and to envisage the future developments in in-vitro migration studies under mechanical confinement in microfluidic devices.