[Future Science] Stem cell culture and differentiation in microfluidic devices toward organ-on-a-chi
Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip provides a new platform with unique advantages to mimic complex physiological microenvironments in vivo and has been increasingly exploited to stem cell research. In this review, we highlight recent advances of microfluidic devices for stem cell culture and differentiation toward the development of organ-on-a-chip, especially with an emphasis on vital innovations within the last 2 years. Various aspects for improving on-chip stem-cell culture and differentiation, particularly toward organ-on-a-chip, are discussed, along with microenvironment control, surface modification, extracellular scaffolds, high throughput and stimuli. The combination of microfluidic technologies and stem cells hold great potential toward versatile systems of ‘organ-on-a-chip’ as desired.
Jie Zhang, 1 Xiaofeng Wei, 1 Rui Zeng, 1 Feng Xu,* 2 and XiuJun Li** 1 , 3 , 4