A gradient-generating microfluidic device for cell biology

Bong Geun Chung, Amir Manbachi, Wajeeh Saadi, Francis Lin, Noo Li Jeon, Ali Khademhosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The fabrication and operation of a gradient-generating microfluidic device for studying cellular behavior is described. A microfluidic platform is an enabling experimental tool, because it can precisely manipulate fluid flows, enable high-throughput experiments, and generate stable soluble concentration gradients. Compared to conventional gradient generators, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based microfluidic devices can generate stable concentration gradients of growth factors with well-defined profiles. Here, we developed simple gradient-generating microfluidic devices with three separate inlets. Three microchannels combined into one microchannel to generate concentration gradients. The stability and shape of growth factor gradients were confirmed by fluorescein isothyiocyanate (FITC)-dextran with a molecular weight similar to epidermal growth factor (EGF). Using this microfluidic device, we demonstrated that fibroblasts exposed to concentration gradients of EGF migrated toward higher concentrations. The directional orientation of cell migration and motility of migrating cells were quantitatively assessed by cell tracking analysis. Thus, this gradient-generating microfluidic device might be useful for studying and analyzing the behavior of migrating cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere271
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Cell biology
  • Cell migration
  • Gradient
  • Issue 7
  • Microfluidic
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this

Chung, B. G., Manbachi, A., Saadi, W., Lin, F., Jeon, N. L., & Khademhosseini, A. (2007). A gradient-generating microfluidic device for cell biology. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (7), [e271]. https://doi.org/10.3791/271