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Hypoxia-on-a-chip - Generating hypoxic conditions in microfluidic cell culture systems

: Busek, Mathias; Grünzner, Stefan; Steege, Tobias; Klotzbach, Udo; Sonntag, Frank

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Current directions in biomedical engineering 2 (2016), No.1, pp.71-75
ISSN: 2364-5504
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie BMWi
ZIM; Plasmafügen
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IWS ()
hypoxia; Lab-on-a-Chip; oxygenator; oxygen sensing; perfused cell culture

In this work a microfluidic cell cultivation device for perfused hypoxia assays as well as a suitable controlling unit are presented. The device features active components like pumps for fluid actuation and valves for fluid direction as well as an oxygenator element to ensure a sufficient oxygen transfer. It consists of several individually structured layers which can be tailored specifically to the intended purpose. Because of its clearness, its mechanical strength and chemical resistance as well as its well-known biocompatibility polycarbonate was chosen to form the fluidic layers by thermal diffusion bonding. Several oxygen sensing spots are integrated into the device and monitored with fluorescence lifetime detection. Furthermore an oxygen regulator module is implemented into the controlling unit which is able to mix different process gases to achieve a controlled oxygenation. First experiments show that oxygenation/deoxygenation of the system is completed within several minutes when pure nitrogen or air is applied to the oxygenator. Lastly the oxygen input by the pneumatically driven micro pump was quantified by measuring the oxygen content before and after the oxygenator.