The microfluidic probe (MFP) is a non-contact, scanning microfluidic technology for local (bio)chemical processing of surfaces based on hydrodynamically confining nanoliter volumes of liquids over tens of micrometers. We present here a compact MFP (cMFP) that can be used on a standard inverted microscope and assist in the local processing of tissue sections and biological specimens. The cMFP has a footprint of 175 × 100 × 140 mm3 and can scan an area of 45 × 45 mm2 on a surface with an accuracy of ±15 μm. The cMFP is compatible with standard surfaces used in life science laboratories such as microscope slides and Petri dishes. For ease of use, we developed self-aligned mounted MFP heads with standardized “chip-to-world” and “chip-to-platform” interfaces. Switching the processing liquid in the flow confinement is performed within 90 s using a selector valve with a dead-volume of approximately 5 μl. We further implemented height-compensation that allows a cMFP head to follow non-planar surfaces common in tissue and cellular ensembles. This was shown by patterning different macroscopic copper-coated topographies with height differences up to 750 μm. To illustrate the applicability to tissue processing, 5 μm thick M000921 BRAF V600E+ melanoma cell blocks were stained with hematoxylin to create contours, lines, spots, gradients of the chemicals, and multiple spots over larger areas. The local staining was performed in an interactive manner using a joystick and a scripting module. The compactness, user-friendliness, and functionality of the cMFP will enable it to be adapted as a standard tool in research, development and diagnostic laboratories, particularly for the interaction with tissues and cells.
A compact and versatile microfluidic probe for local processing of tissue sections and biological specimens
J. F. Cors, R. D. Lovchik, E. Delamarche, G. V. Kaigala; A compact and versatile microfluidic probe for local processing of tissue sections and biological specimens. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 1 March 2014; 85 (3): 034301. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4866976
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