Microfluidic Platform for High-Density Cell Delivery

Generates chemical cues to a dense array of cells while simultaneously using image-based assays to observe cell response at single-cell resolution

Abstract
Georgia Tech inventors have designed a microfluidic technology that generates chemical cues to a dense array of cells while simultaneously using image-based assays to observe cell response at a single-cell resolution. The design couples arbitrary chip design with a chemical signal generator using a perforated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane, which allows the delivery of finely-tuned dynamic chemical signals to individual cells. This microfluidic device ensures that all cells loaded in the platform experience the same chemical signal simultaneously- which shows that any differences observed between cells is due the heterogeneity of the cell population and not by experimental design. The chemical generator also has the ability to deliver high frequency chemical signals over a large temporal dynamic range in order to simulate different biological process over different time scales. In summary, this microfluidic technology enables fast and repeatable switching of stimulus and buffer at a single cell resolution that is necessary in understanding signal transduction pathways.

Website

https://licensing.research.gatech.edu/technology/microfluidic-platform-high-density-cell-delivery

Benefits/Advantages

  • Allows for hundreds of cells to be immobilized on a very small footprint- including non-adherent cells
  • Can analyze cell response at a single-cell resolution
  • Can simultaneously observe cell response and generate chemical cues- allows for observation of immediate cell response
  • Minimizes shear stress.
  • Requires minimal auxiliary equipment and is accommodating to any chip design.

Potential Commercial Applications

  • Cell biology laboratories in university, industrial, and clinical settings 
  • Earlier stages of drug discovery prior to clinical testing
  • Personalized medicine by analyzing patient cell response by using cells recovered from a biopsy or peripheral blood sample
  • Point-of-care diagnostics and for use in resource-limited setting

Contact Information

Georgia Tech Office of Technology Licensing
Email: techlicensing@gtrc.gatech.edu