This paper describes microfluidic systems containing immobilized hydrogel-encapsulated mammalian cells that can be used as cell-based biosensors. Mammalian cells were encapsulated in three-dimensional poly(ethylene glycol)(PEG) hydrogel microstructures which were photolithographically polymerized in microfluidic devices and grown under static culture conditions. The encapsulated cells remained viable for a week and were able to carry out enzymatic reactions inside the microfluidic devices. Cytotoxicity assays proved that small molecular weight toxins such as sodium azide could easily diffuse into the hydrogel microstructures and kill the encapsulated cells, which resulted in decreased viability. Furthermore, heterogeneous hydrogel microstructures encapsulating two different phenotypes in discrete spatial locations were also successfully fabricated inside microchannels.
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Acknowledgement The work described in this paper was supported by a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, NAG 91277).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry