[Applied Materials and Interfaces] A Paper/PMMA Hybrid 3D Cell Culture Microfluidic Platform for the
Studying cellular crosstalk is important for understanding tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance. Moreover, a 3D cell culture model can provide a more physiologically meaningful culture microenvironment. However, studying cellular crosstalk in 3D cell culture model involves tedious processing. In this study, a paper/polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) hybrid 3D cell culture microfluidic platform was successfully developed for the study of cellular crosstalk. The platform was a paper substrate with culture microreactors placed on a PMMA substrate with hydrogel-infused channels. Different types of cells were directly seeded and cultured in the microreactors. Aberrant cell proliferation of the affected cells was induced by secretions from transfected cells, and the proliferation ratios were investigated using a colorimetric method. The results showed that the responses of cellular crosstalk were different in different types of cells. Moreover, neutralizing and competitive assays were performed to show the functionality of the platform. Additionally, the triggered signaling pathways of the affected cells were directly analyzed by a subsequent immunoassay. The microfluidic platform provides a simple method for studying cellular crosstalk and the corresponding signaling pathways in a 3D culture model.
Kin Fong Lei, Chih-Hsuan Chang, and Ming-Jie Chen ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b03021 Publication Date (Web): March 29, 2017 Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society