Microfluidic biochips are an attractive tool for live cell microscopy as their dimensions can mimic the dimensions of human capillaries thereby enabling researchers to simulate in vivo microenvironments. Biochips offer distinct advantages over traditional glass capillaries (known for optical aberrations) or perfusion chambers as cutting edge fabrication techniques result in in vitro models that allow high-resolution digital microscopy for brightfield, phase contrast, fluorescent imaging and confocal microscopy. The surface of the microcapillaries may be pretreated to support adhesion of proteins / ligands or culturing of different cells types; thereby resulting in a very flexible and adaptable research tool.
- cell observation under shear flow
- cell rolling, adhesion, migration assays
- cell transmigration and invasion models
- permeability assays
- blood brain barrier models
- cell culture (2D, 3D) including stem cell culture