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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0133.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: microfluidics; micro-injection-moulding; femtosecond laser micromachining; optical manipulation.
Online: 9 July 2018 (11:47:29 CEST)
Micro Injection molding combined with the use of removable inserts is one of the most promising manufacturing process for microfluidic devices, such as Lab-on-a-chip, that have the potential to revolutionize the healthcare and diagnosis system. In this work we have designed, fabricated and tested a compact and disposable plastic optical stretcher. To produce the mould inserts, two micro manufacturing technologies have been used. Micro Electro Discharge machining was used to reproduce the inverse of the capillary tube connection characterized by high aspect ratio. Thanks to the high accuracy of femtosecond laser machining, instead, we manufactured insert with perfectly aligned microfluidic channels and fiber slots, facilitating the final composition of the optical manipulation device. The optical stretcher operation is tested using microbeads and red blood cells solutions. The prototype presented in this work demonstrates the feasibility of this approach that should guarantee a real mass production of ready-to-use- Lab-on-a-chip.