Deformable L-shaped microwell array for trapping pairs of heterogeneous cells

Gi Hun Lee, Sung Hwan Kim, Ahran Kang, Shuichi Takayama, Sang Hoon Lee, Joong Yull Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To study cell-to-cell interactions, there has been a continuous demand on developing microsystems for trapping pairs of two different cells in microwell arrays. Here, we propose an L-shaped microwell (L-microwell) array that relies on the elasticity of a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate for trapping and pairing heterogeneous cells. We designed an L-microwell suitable for trapping single cell in each branch via stretching/releasing the PDMS substrate, and also performed 3D time-dependent diffusion simulations to visualize how cell-secreted molecules diffuse in the L-microwell and communicate with the partner cell. The computational results showed that the secreted molecule first contacted the partner cell after 35 min, and the secreted molecule fully covered the partner cell in 4 h (when referenced to 10% of the secreted molecular concentration). The molecules that diffused to the outside of the L-microwell were significantly diluted by the bulk solution, which prevented unwanted cellular communication between neighboring L-microwells. We produced over 5000 cell pairs in one 2.25 cm2 array with about 30 000 L-microwells. The proposed L-microwell array offers a versatile and convenient cell pairing method to investigate cell-to-cell interactions in, for example, cell fusion, immune reactions, and cancer metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035005
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 1

Fingerprint

Molecules
Polydimethylsiloxane
Antigen-antibody reactions
Cellular radio systems
Microsystems
Substrates
Stretching
Elasticity
Fusion reactions
baysilon

Keywords

  • cell pairing
  • cell-to-cell interaction
  • L-shaped microwell
  • single cell trapping
  • substrate deformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Cite this

Deformable L-shaped microwell array for trapping pairs of heterogeneous cells. / Lee, Gi Hun; Kim, Sung Hwan; Kang, Ahran; Takayama, Shuichi; Lee, Sang Hoon; Park, Joong Yull.

In: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol. 25, No. 3, 035005, 01.03.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lee, Gi Hun ; Kim, Sung Hwan ; Kang, Ahran ; Takayama, Shuichi ; Lee, Sang Hoon ; Park, Joong Yull. / Deformable L-shaped microwell array for trapping pairs of heterogeneous cells. In: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. 2015 ; Vol. 25, No. 3.
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