An easy-to-handle microfluidic device suitable for immunohistochemical procedures in mammalian cells grown under flow conditions

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C. Fede
I. Fortunati
L. Petrelli
D. Guidolin
R. De Caro *
C. Ferrante
G. Albertin
(*) Corresponding Author:
R. De Caro | raffaele.decaro@unipd.it

Abstract

Microfluidic, the technology that manipulates small amount of fluids in microscale complex devices, has undergone a remarkable development during the last decade, by targeting a significant range of applications, including biological tests and single-cell analysis, and by displaying many advantages such as reduced reagent consumption, decreased costs and faster analysis. Furthermore, the introduction of microfluidic tools has revolutionized the study of vascular functions, because the controlled three-dimensional environment and the continuous perfusion provided by the microdevice allow simulating the physiological characteristics of the circulatory system. Researchers interested in the study of vascular physiology, however, are often hampered by the difficulty in handling reduced number of cells after growth in these devices. This work shows how to apply different protocols commonly used in biology, such as the immunofluorescence technique, to cells grown in reversibly-bound microfluidic devices, obtaining results comparable to those retrieved under static conditions in multiwells. In this way, we are able to combine the advantages of microfluidic, i.e., application of continuous flow and shear stress, with classical protocols for the study of endothelial cells.

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