Personal Microfluidics: Portable and Programmable Microfluidic Systems for Cell Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Macromolecular Science & Engineering, University of Michigan
Recent advances in microfabrication have made it possible to easily construct almost any desired structure. There is still a challenge, however, in making functional integrated systems that are practical to manufacture and use for cell engineering. Here I will present several microfluidic systems including: (i) a sperm sorting and fertilization chip with an integrated passively-driven pumping system, and (ii) active microfluidic control platforms for cell culture and analysis.
Two of the most important steps in fertilization are sperm selection and insemination. We have recently developed a penny-sized integrated microfluidic system to sort motile sperm. The system has two key design features: a novel passively-driven pumping system that can maintain a steady flow rate over time regardless of the volumes of fluid in the reservoirs and a laminar flow separation channel that utilizes inter-streamline crossing of motile sperm. We now demonstrate that the sorted sperm can be used for fertilization, directly inside the sperm sorter or inside of a separate microfluidic chamber. The microfluidic sperm sorter fills a clinical need to select the most viable sperm for in vitro fertilization procedures.
Although passive fluid control is convenient for certain applications, many cell engineering applications would benefit from fluidic systems with active pumping and valving capabilities. I will describe two systems: i) a portable and programmable microfluidic system that can be used inside common cell culture incubators and is useful for cell manipulations, culture, and analysis; and ii) an electrowetting-triggered fluidic switch for control of high-speed air-liquid two-phase flows.
Shuichi Takayama received his M.S. from the University of Tokyo in 1994 and his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute in 1998, after which he joined the G.M. Whitesides group at Harvard University as a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society postdoctoral fellow. He joined the faculty of the department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the fall of 2000. His major research interests are in biomaterials, nanotechnology, microfluidics, and development of micro total analysis systems (mTAS) for cell-based therapies and biology. He has received the Green Chemistry Challenge Award in Honor of Professor Chi-Huey Wong (EPA, 2000), The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award (ORAU, 2002), and The NSF Career Award (NSF, 2003).