Poster Submission for the Twelfth Annual Sigma
Title: Culturing Neural Cells for Microfluidic Networks
Abstract: Growing cells in microfluidic networks provides several advantages over traditional cell cultures: nutrient supply and waste removal are continuous processes; growth geometry is three-dimensionally constrained; electrical and chemical gradients can be readily achieved; and transient chemical stimuli can be delivered to the cells. In short, culturing cells in a microfluidic network can better approximate the in vivo environment. Neuronal cultures in particular can benefit from the microfluidic environment. Synaptic connections between neurons within the microfluidic system are more easily studied due to the geometric constraints on growth direction. Additionally, delivery of chemical stimulants or toxins localized to the cell body or toward neuronal projections.
In this work, the pluripotent embryonal carcinoma (P19) cell line is cultured within microfluidic networks and on patterned surfaces. Inorganic polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) are used to encourage attachment of the P19 cells to the PDMS substrate. On patterned surfaces, P19 cells are found to adhere only in the presence of PEMs. Once adherent, P19 cells can be induced to differentiate into postmitotic neuronal cells by sustained delivery of trans-retinoic acid. The cells develop neuronal projections which can be imaged using optical microscopy and by fluorescence staining for neurofilaments. On surfaces, growth of neurites is constrained by the PEM pattern, simplifying the neural network formed. Within channels, neurite outgrowth into narrow channels adjacent to the cell body is observed.
Authors: Forry, Samuel P.; Reyes, Darwin R.; Gaitan, Michael; Locascio, Laurie E.
Mentor: Laurie Locascio
Division: Analytical Chemistry
Building and Room: 227, B365
Mail Stop: 8394
Sigma Xi Member: no