Microfluidic device to control interstitial flow-mediated homotypic and heterotypic cellular communication

Luis F. Alonzo, Monica L. Moya, Venktesh S. Shirure, Steven George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tissue engineering can potentially recreate in vivo cellular microenvironments in vitro for an array of applications such as biological inquiry and drug discovery. However, the majority of current in vitro systems still neglect many biological, chemical, and mechanical cues that are known to impact cellular functions such as proliferation, migration, and differentiation. To address this gap, we have developed a novel microfluidic device that precisely controls the spatial and temporal interactions between adjacent three-dimensional cellular environments. The device consists of four interconnected microtissue compartments (~0.1 mm3) arranged in a square. The top and bottom pairs of compartments can be sequentially loaded with discrete cellularized hydrogels creating the opportunity to investigate homotypic (left to right or x-direction) and heterotypic (top to bottom or y-direction) cell-cell communication. A controlled hydrostatic pressure difference across the tissue compartments in both x and y direction induces interstitial flow and modulates communication via soluble factors. To validate the biological significance of this novel platform, we examined the role of stromal cells in the process of vasculogenesis. Our device confirms previous observations that soluble mediators derived from normal human lung fibroblasts (NHLFs) are necessary to form a vascular network derived from endothelial colony forming cell-derived endothelial cells (ECFC-ECs). We conclude that this platform could be used to study important physiological and pathological processes that rely on homotypic and heterotypic cell-cell communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3521-3529
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Volume15
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 19 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
Cellular radio systems
Microfluidics
Communication
Cell Communication
Physiological Phenomena
Cellular Microenvironment
Equipment and Supplies
Hydrogels
Hydrostatic Pressure
Endothelial cells
Pathologic Processes
Hydrostatic pressure
Drug Discovery
Fibroblasts
Tissue Engineering
Stromal Cells
Tissue engineering
Cues
Blood Vessels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this

Microfluidic device to control interstitial flow-mediated homotypic and heterotypic cellular communication. / Alonzo, Luis F.; Moya, Monica L.; Shirure, Venktesh S.; George, Steven.

In: Lab on a Chip, Vol. 15, No. 17, 19.06.2015, p. 3521-3529.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alonzo, Luis F. ; Moya, Monica L. ; Shirure, Venktesh S. ; George, Steven. / Microfluidic device to control interstitial flow-mediated homotypic and heterotypic cellular communication. In: Lab on a Chip. 2015 ; Vol. 15, No. 17. pp. 3521-3529.
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