Microfluidic processing of cells for preservation
Allison Hubel, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota

Traditional methods of cryopreserving hematopoietic stem cells use dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) as a cryoprotective agent and hematopoietic stem cells are routinely thawed at the patient bedside and infused directly. The clinical toxicity resulting from DMSO infusion into humans is well documented. Current methods of DMSO removal are time consuming, labor intensive and typically results in a 25-30% cell loss. Microfluidics is an alternative technology that can be used to introduce and remove cryopreservation solutions with minimal cell losses and operator intervention. Liquid flows through microscale devices are characterized by low velocity, laminar flow with cell motion controlled much more precisely and gently than is possible in a centrifuge. Also, the laminar nature of microfluidic flow permits diffusion-based extraction without the use of a membrane to separate fluid streams. The theoretical basis for the device design, experimental performance and scaling of the device will be described. The development of a microfluidic device for introduction and removal of solutions represents a technology platform that can be applied to a variety of cell types and applications.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License