Accurately mimicking the complexity of microvascular systems calls for a technology which can accommodate particularly small sample volumes while retaining a large degree of freedom in channel geometry and keeping the price considerably low to allow for high throughput experiments. Here, we demonstrate that the use of surface acoustic wave driven microfluidics systems successfully allows the study of the interrelation between melanoma cell adhesion, the matrix protein collagen type I, the blood clotting factor von Willebrand factor (vWF), and microfluidic channel geometry. The versatility of the tool presented enables us to examine cell adhesion under flow in straight and bifurcated microfluidic channels in the presence of different protein coatings. We show that the addition of vWF tremendously increases (up to tenfold) the adhesion of melanoma cells even under fairly low shear flow conditions. This effect is altered in the presence of bifurcated channels demonstrating the importance of an elaborate hydrodynamic analysis to differentiate between physical and biological effects. Therefore, computer simulations have been performed along with the experiments to reveal the entire flow profile in the channel. We conclude that a combination of theory and experiment will lead to a consistent explanation of cell adhesion, and will optimize the potential of microfluidic experiments to further unravel the relation between blood clotting factors, cell adhesion molecules, cancer cell spreading, and the hydrodynamic conditions in our microcirculatory system.
Acoustic driven flow and lattice Boltzmann simulations to study cell adhesion in biofunctionalized -fluidic channels with complex geometry
M. A. Fallah, V. M. Myles, T. Krüger, K. Sritharan, A. Wixforth, F. Varnik, S. W. Schneider, M. F. Schneider; Acoustic driven flow and lattice Boltzmann simulations to study cell adhesion in biofunctionalized -fluidic channels with complex geometry. Biomicrofluidics 1 June 2010; 4 (2): 024106. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3396449
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