Microfluidics: Chemotaxis and ADVANTAGES
it is known microfluidics nowadays is revolutionizing the way the motile behaviour of cells are studied.
It has enabled observations at high spatial and temporal resolution is carefully controlled microenvironments.
Taking into account both of the parts, chemotaxis and microfluidics, there are some advantages when using them two together:
– Presents experimental challenges that are not observed on chemotaxis studies of surface-adherent cells.
– Generate steady, arbitrarily shaped chemical gradients.
– Unique control over the chemoattractant gradient and the migration environment of cells.
– Provide spatial and temporal control over a reproducible chemical environment.
– Enables building well defined and stable chemical gradients at cellular length scales.
– Provide a platform for quantifying cellular responses at cellular and molecular levels.
Microfluidics Application: Chemotaxis
When an organism moves in response to a chemical stimulus it is said that Chemotaxis has happened.
Due to some chemicals that are in the environment the organisms, such as Somatic cells, bacteria, single-cell or multicellular organisms, direct their movements.
When the chemotaxis movements occur toward a higher concentration of the chemical, it is said that is a positive movement.
On the contrary, when the movement is done in the opposite direction, toward the lowest concentration, it is said that is a negative movement.
In addition, if it is nondirectional or randomly directed, the chemotaxis will be called Chemokinesis.
Chemotaxis is done with two independent chemoattractants.
Even if they are independent, we can say that they are interrelated processes-motility and directionality and both of them are regulated by extracellular stimuli.
Electrophoresis using Microfluidics – Main Advantages
Advantages of using electrophoresis with Microfluidics:
1. Improved Diagnosis, simplified diagnostic procedures, faster treatment and results.
2. Simplicity; Fast and easy technique.
3. Low cost material.
Electrophoresis and Microfluidics
Electrophoresis is an analytical method which is applied for the separation and characterization of proteins, nucleic acids and subcellular-sized particles such as viruses and small organelles.
Its principle is that the charged particles of a sample migrate in an applied electrical field.
Electrophoresis of positively charged particles (cations) is called cataphoresis, and on the other hand, electrophoresis of negatively charged particles (anions) is called anaphoresis.
Electrophoresis is a technique used in laboratories to separate macromolecules based on size.
Microfluidic Application: Organ-on-a-Chip
Advantages of Organ-on-a-chip with microfluidics:
1. 3-D tissue structures look like actual organ physiology.
2. They provide better simulation, which means it is more accurate.
3. For scientist, they can watch the chips in real time and in high resolution.
4. Early effectiveness and safety identification.
Microfluidic Event in Germany
During three days in November, from 14 to 17 November, we have been part of the most important trade fair for In-Patient and out-patient Medicine in the city of Düsseldorf (Germany), MEDICA 2016.
Medica is the most attractive fair for the people who are working in the Health Care industry. There have been more than 130,000 visitors from over 120 countries, having the chance to take part in numerous special events, such as international conferences and forums.
Moreover Medica is the focus of the worldwide medical trade, and it has the largest and most comprehensive product display.
Microfluidics is a technology which has a big presence in the fair, as many of the solutions offered to the market in Diagnostics – IVD Market are based on it.
The trade fair we have been attending has more than 5.000 exhibitors from all around the world, with more than 19 halls on the exhibit area.
Furthermore, it is important to know that more than 500 of the exhibitors where from the United States of America and Canada.
Two members of our company have been attending the Medica world trade fair, having different meetings. As visitors, you are able to contact many companies in the Medical Device and Diagnostics in order to expand our business portfolio.
Microfluidics Application: Organ-on-a-Chip
Organ on a Chip is a type of artificial organ which simulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of the entire organs and organ systems.
Moreover, it is a flexible polymer multi-channel 3-D microfluidic cell culture chip, and the union of lab -on-chips and cell biology has enabled the study of human physiology in an organic-specific context.
These types of chips are used to potentially accelerate drug discovery, reduce drug-development costs, to create a future of personalized medicine to treat a wide variety of diseases, such as cancer, pulmonary thrombosis and asthma.
Furthermore, these type of microchips are much more realistic models of the human body comparing with the flat layers of cells grown in petri dishes.
Microfluidics Application: Cell Sorting
Cell sorting consists on separating cell according to their properties.
These properties are of different types, such as intracellular (inside the cell) or extracellular (outside the cell).
The properties worked in this type of separations include DNA, RNA, protein molecule, morphology, size or shape.
Furthermore, there are some different types of cell sorting.
There are two main types when cell sorting. As said before, these techniques, that are called flow cytometry and magnetic bead separation, are used to separate cells into different population.
The biggest difference between these two methods is that flow cytometry sorts cells one by one, while magnetic bead separation works on all cells at once. Although both methods are efficient, it is better to know their relative strenths and weaknesses to choose among them.
The importance of cell sorting:
As known, cells are basic structural and functional unit of all living organism, that is why the ability to isolate and sort different cell types within organs and tissues has led to many established principles in medicine and physiology.
On one hand, and taking into account the research field, the ability to separate cells into distinct populations enables the study of individual cell types isolated form the heterogeneous population without contamination from other cell types. This technology enables research in areas as varied as regenerative medicine, cancer therapy and HIV pathogenesis.
Moreover, in terms of clinical usage, it is possible to introduce the enriched cell populations to a patient who has a clinical need for those cells, and it also enables the enumeration of cells within an individual’s blood system ad can help on the repopulation of the immune system.
Molecularly Imprinted Polymer – MIPs and Microfluidics
As mentioned before, using MIPs have several advantages, but if MIPs and microfluidics are worked together, they have even more positive points.
To start with, the materials used in microfluidic platforms are more or less inert, transparent and, moreover, they are not toxic.
This allows to work with all kinds of analytical techniques.
In addition, valves can be implemented in the microfluidic device, and this action allows the directed flows into certain areas of the chip.
Furthermore, the main advantage of inserting MIPs into microfluidic devices is that minuscule channels reduce diffusion form a solution to the imprinted surface.
This reduction brings a significant reduction of response timers for sensors or an increase of throughput for separations.
MIPs Applications and Microfluidics
The main applications of MIP’s are in the area of sensors and separation.
Moreover, as MIPs are fast and cost-effective, it is mostly used in the fields of chemistry, biology and engineering.
Due to the specific binding site created in a MIP this technique is showing promise in analytical chemistry as a useful method for solid phase extraction.
According to the effectiveness of the MIPs and as it is a cheaper and easier production of antibody/enzymes, it is nowadays used in the medical research and application, applications such as Controlled release drugs, drug monitoring devices and mimetic biological receptor .
Speaking about the advantages of MIP’s, they offer many advantages over protein binding sites. Proteins are difficult and expensive to purify, denature and are difficult to immobilize for reuse.
Synthetic polymers are cheap, easy to synthesize, and allow the elaboration of synthetic side chains to be incorporated.