The Fluigent/Micronit organ-on-a-chip platform focuses on modeling the main biochemical and biophysical features of the native environment of cells in order to induce their growth and differentiation as functional tissues. Air-liquid interface, flow induced shear stress, mechanical stimulation, biochemical gradient, cell-cell coculture have been reported to significantly improve the functionality of in vitromodels. All these parameters are controlled by the system.
Fluigent has partnered with Micronit to develop a versatile fully integrated organ on a chip platform which reproduces numerous characteristics of the in vivo environment of cells. This platform comprises a flow control system connected to a resealable glass chip separated into two flow chambers by a transversal porous membrane.
Reversible sealing: Cells can be easily seeded on both sides on the membrane prior to chip assembly. Similarly, the membrane can be retrieved at the end of the experiment to perform high resolution imaging.
Regulated flow rate: The Fluigent Direct Flow Control smart algorithm continuously adapts to cell culture variations (channel clogging, cell detaching) to maintain the flow rate constant along the experiment.
Biomimetic mechanical stimulation: Thanks to Fluigent’s product precision and responsiveness, controlled shear stress can be applied to cells. Sinusoidal pressure variations accessible in the MAT software can be adjusted by the user to stretch the membrane with the required amplitude at a given frequency. These automated functions are powerful tools to reproduce peristaltic motion, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure…
Controlled biochemical environment: Flow EZ independent channels allow one to flow distinct solutions with specific flow rate on each side of the membrane. This fluidic isolation is ideal to co-culture cells with incompatible cell culture media or to perform sampling at the chip output to quantify drug transport from apical to basal compartment.
Microphysiological systems/Organ-on-chip: The Fluigent/Micronit platform is particularly suited for organ on chips applications since the membrane is compatible with any cell type. Air-liquid and liquid/liquid interfaces experienced by cells in vivo (lung, skin, gut, blood capillary) can be reproduced in vitro.
Co-culture under perfusion: Controlling the flow rate and the type of solutions flown on each side of the membrane makes it possible to co-culture cells with their own specific medium.
Drug discovery/screening: The system can be augmented with valves and switches to automate the periodic injection of drugs in the system and the sampling at the chip output. Micorphysiological systems are physiologically relevant models to evaluate drug toxicity in preclinical studies.
Quantification of molecular uptake and transport: Analysis and comparison of the compositions of the basal and apical compartments can be performed to evaluate drug uptake and transport in biomimetic models like gut-on-chip.
Micropipette aspiration is a powerful non-invasive technique to evaluate how biomechanical properties of single cells or tissue govern cell shape, cell response to mechanic stimuli, transition from nontumorigenic to tumorigenic state or morphogenesis. The Fluigent MFCS™-EZ and Flow EZ™ pressure controllers are particularly suited for this method since it requires applying adequate forces.
Many microfluidic applications require expensive solutions to be injected at a controlled flow-rate into a microfluidic system, such as cell cultures, PCR processes, cell injections or simulation of blood capillaries with a controlled minimal mechanical stress.
Individual cell heterogeneity within a population has invalidated historic classification methods based on macroscopic considerations and given rise to new evaluation techniques based on single cell transcriptional signature. In this context, thanks to high throughput screening capacities, easy fluid handling and reduced costs related to device miniaturization, microfluidics has emerged as a powerful tool§.