In vivo, most cells are constantly exposed, actively or passively, to mechanical forces. Reproducing these physiological constraints in vitro is essential to induce the right phenotype to cells, finalize their maturation and maintain homeostasis. The wide range of pressure (0.1 mbar-7bar) covered by Fluigent products permits one to accurately study biomechanics from molecular level to organ scale.

Background image: Osmo mechanical compression of a tissue confined in a microfluidic channel (Two photon imaging of intercellular space). Photo courtesy of Dr Sylvain Monnier (Institut Lumière et Matière, France)


Fast response: pulsatile flow (artery), quick and sharp mechanical stimulation

Stable over large flow-rate range: laminar flow (veins, microvessels)

Programmable pressure/flow rate profiles: cyclic mechanical strain (breathing, arterial blood pressure…) or complex pattern of mechanical stimulations

Sensitive and versatile: adapted study mechanical responses from cytoskeleton (pN) to tissue scale (arteries (?P?100mbar)).

High resolution: small pressure increments accessible by the system at any pressure (0.1 mbar-7bar).

Multiplexed measurement of red blood cell deformability. Video courtesy of Dr Hongshen Ma (University of British Columbia, Canada)



Biomechanical/biophysical characterization of cytoskeleton, nucleus, cells, tissues, organs

Morphogenesis: identify the biomechanical stimuli inducing cell proliferation, maturation and differentiation.

Mechanotaxis: study cell response to temporal or steady shear stress gradients.

Friction in biomedical devices: investigate frictional interactions between cells and the surface of the device to reduce inflammatory reactions.

Diagnosis based on biomechanical criterion: cell sorting/capture based on their deformability (ex: circulating tumor cell isolation from blood sample), biomechanical characterization of patient sample (ex: one symptom of falciparum malaria is the reduction in the deformability of infected red blood cells.)

Haemodynamics, lymph dynamics: examine hydrodynamic properties of biological fluid in physiological conditions (relevant geometries imposed by the device design coupled to consistent flow profile delivered by the flow controller)

Transport: quantify the transport of gas and nutrients under realistic conditions (flow rates, % of cell stretching (alveolus))

Figure 1: Osmo mechanical compression of a tissue confined in a microfluidic channel (Two photon imaging of intercellular space). Photo courtesy of Dr Sylvain Monnier (Institut Lumière et Matière, France).

Selected publication from our customers

  • Portran D et al, Tubulin acetylation protects long-lived microtubules against mechanical ageing. 2017 Nat Cell Biol. 19(4):391-398
  • Hodgson et al, A microfluidic device for characterizing nuclear deformations. 2017, Lab chip. 17(5):805-813
  • Kamyabi N, Vanapalli SA. Microfluidic cell fragmentation for mechanical phenotyping of cancer cells. 2016, Biomicrofluidics. 15;10(2):021102.
  • Park ES et al, Continuous Flow Deformability-Based Separation of Circulating Tumor Cells Using Microfluidic Ratchets. 2016, Small. 12(14):1909-19
  • Aumeier C et al, Self-repair promotes microtubules rescue. 2016, Nat Cell Biol; 18(10) :1054-1064.
  • Roman S et al, Going beyond 20 ?m-sized channels for studying red blood cell phase separation in microfluidic bifurcations. 2016,Biomicrofluidics. 10(3):034103
  • Schaedel L et al, Microtubules self-repair in response to mechanical stress. 2015. Nat Mater; 14(11):1156-1163
  • Myrand-Lapierre ME et al, Multiplexed fluidic plunger mechanism for the measurement of red blood cell deformability. 2015. Lab Chip; 15(1):159-67
  • Pagliara et al, Transition from pluripotency in embryonic stem cells distinguished by an auxetic nucleus. 2014, Nat Mater. 13(6): 638-644.
  • Sherwood JM et al, Spatial distributions of red blood cells significantly alter local haemodynamics. 2014, PLoS One. 9(6):e100473.
  • Guo Q et al, Microfluidic biomechanical assay for red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum. 2012, Lab Chip; 12(6):1143-50.
  • Milovanovic L and Ma H, Method for measurement of friction forces on single cells in microfluidic devices. 2012, Anal. Methods; 4, 4303-4309.
  • Roman S et al, Velocimetry of red blood cells in microvessels by the dual-slit method: effect of velocity gradients. Microvasc Res; 84 (3), 249-261.

High throughput single cell analysis

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 for […]

Fluid recirculation for cell perfusion with reduced shear stress

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 […]

Micropipette cell and tissue aspiration

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 forces ranging from 10pN […]

For more information or a technical discussion

Contact us