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Spatial manipulation with microfluidics.

Lin B, Levchenko A - Front Bioeng Biotechnol (2015)

Bottom Line: How these gradients develop, evolve, and function during development, homeostasis, and various disease states is a subject of intense interest across a variety of disciplines.Microfluidic technologies have become essential tools for investigating gradient sensing in vitro due to their ability to precisely manipulate fluids on demand in well-controlled environments at cellular length scales.This review will highlight their utility for studying gradient sensing along with relevant applications to biology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Systems Biology Institute, Yale University , West Haven, CT , USA.

ABSTRACT
Biochemical gradients convey information through space, time, and concentration, and are ultimately capable of spatially resolving distinct cellular phenotypes, such as differentiation, proliferation, and migration. How these gradients develop, evolve, and function during development, homeostasis, and various disease states is a subject of intense interest across a variety of disciplines. Microfluidic technologies have become essential tools for investigating gradient sensing in vitro due to their ability to precisely manipulate fluids on demand in well-controlled environments at cellular length scales. This review will highlight their utility for studying gradient sensing along with relevant applications to biology.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Common microfluidic gradient generation designs. (A) Flow based and diffusion based (B) microfluidic gradient generators. Green color represents the spatial distribution of a potential biochemical factor of interest in each device.
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Figure 2: Common microfluidic gradient generation designs. (A) Flow based and diffusion based (B) microfluidic gradient generators. Green color represents the spatial distribution of a potential biochemical factor of interest in each device.

Mentions: The most basic microfluidic design capable of gradient generation is a “T” or “Y” junction, which consists of two channels containing fluid inputs of different concentrations of a target molecule merging into a central channel (Figure 2A). Diffusion of the molecule occurs across the interface between the laminar streams as they merge into the central channel and the resulting spatial profile can be predicted based on the diffusion coefficient of the molecule and the location down the length of the central channel, which is correlated with the time the streams have been in contact (Brody and Yager, 1997). Although, in principle, “T” junctions can be used for investigating gradient sensing, the time to produce a smooth linear profile scales poorly with increases in the central channel width, owing to the slow diffusion of molecules from the central fluid interface to the channel edges. Thus for biological applications, “T” junctions have been primarily utilized to create sharp fluid boundaries, rather than smooth gradients, with fast flow rates that minimize diffusion, leading to applications such as sub-cellular (Takayama et al., 2001) and organism (Lucchetta et al., 2005) level binary patterning. These studies revealed new mechanistic insight into the lateral progression of epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling (Sawano et al., 2002) as well as the signaling regulating developmental robustness in Drosophila (Lucchetta et al., 2005), providing good examples of research inherently dependent on microfluidic technology.


Spatial manipulation with microfluidics.

Lin B, Levchenko A - Front Bioeng Biotechnol (2015)

Common microfluidic gradient generation designs. (A) Flow based and diffusion based (B) microfluidic gradient generators. Green color represents the spatial distribution of a potential biochemical factor of interest in each device.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4389655&req=5

Figure 2: Common microfluidic gradient generation designs. (A) Flow based and diffusion based (B) microfluidic gradient generators. Green color represents the spatial distribution of a potential biochemical factor of interest in each device.
Mentions: The most basic microfluidic design capable of gradient generation is a “T” or “Y” junction, which consists of two channels containing fluid inputs of different concentrations of a target molecule merging into a central channel (Figure 2A). Diffusion of the molecule occurs across the interface between the laminar streams as they merge into the central channel and the resulting spatial profile can be predicted based on the diffusion coefficient of the molecule and the location down the length of the central channel, which is correlated with the time the streams have been in contact (Brody and Yager, 1997). Although, in principle, “T” junctions can be used for investigating gradient sensing, the time to produce a smooth linear profile scales poorly with increases in the central channel width, owing to the slow diffusion of molecules from the central fluid interface to the channel edges. Thus for biological applications, “T” junctions have been primarily utilized to create sharp fluid boundaries, rather than smooth gradients, with fast flow rates that minimize diffusion, leading to applications such as sub-cellular (Takayama et al., 2001) and organism (Lucchetta et al., 2005) level binary patterning. These studies revealed new mechanistic insight into the lateral progression of epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling (Sawano et al., 2002) as well as the signaling regulating developmental robustness in Drosophila (Lucchetta et al., 2005), providing good examples of research inherently dependent on microfluidic technology.

Bottom Line: How these gradients develop, evolve, and function during development, homeostasis, and various disease states is a subject of intense interest across a variety of disciplines.Microfluidic technologies have become essential tools for investigating gradient sensing in vitro due to their ability to precisely manipulate fluids on demand in well-controlled environments at cellular length scales.This review will highlight their utility for studying gradient sensing along with relevant applications to biology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Systems Biology Institute, Yale University , West Haven, CT , USA.

ABSTRACT
Biochemical gradients convey information through space, time, and concentration, and are ultimately capable of spatially resolving distinct cellular phenotypes, such as differentiation, proliferation, and migration. How these gradients develop, evolve, and function during development, homeostasis, and various disease states is a subject of intense interest across a variety of disciplines. Microfluidic technologies have become essential tools for investigating gradient sensing in vitro due to their ability to precisely manipulate fluids on demand in well-controlled environments at cellular length scales. This review will highlight their utility for studying gradient sensing along with relevant applications to biology.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus