Synthecell Laboratory - Damien COUDREUSE
Drug delivery and temperature control in microfluidic chips during live-cell imaging experiments
Microfluidic technologies have become a standard tool in cell biological studies, offering unprecedented control of the chemical and physical environment of cells grown in microdevices, the possibility of multiplexing assays, as well as the capacity to monitor the behavior of single cells in real time while dynamically manipulating their growth medium. However, the properties of the materials employed for the fabrication of microchips that are compatible with live-cell imaging has limited the use of these techniques for a broad range of experiments. In particular, the strong absorption of a large panel of small molecules by these materials prevents the accurate delivery of compounds of interest. Here we describe a novel microsystem dedicated to live-cell imaging that (1) uses alternative materials devoid of absorptive properties, and (2) allows for dynamic in-chip control of sample temperature. Based on a proof-of-concept design that we have routinely used with non-adherent fission yeast cells, this chapter details all the steps for the fabrication and utilization of these microdevices.