An agar-microchamber cell-cultivation system: Flexible change of microchamber shapes during cultivation by photo-thermal etching

Hiroyuki Moriguchi, Yuichi Wakamoto, Yoshihiro Sugio, Kazunori Takahashi, Ippei Inoue, Kenji Yasuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A new type of cell-cultivation system based on photo-thermal etching has been developed for the on-chip cultivation of living cells using an agarose microchamber array. The method can be used to flexibly change the chamber structure by photo-thermal etching, even during the cultivation of cells, depending upon the progress in cell growth. We used an infrared (1064 nm) focused laser beam as a heat source to melt and remove agar gel at the heated spot on a thin chromium layer. The melting of the agar occurred just near the chromium thin layer, and the size of the photo-thermally etched area depended almost linearly on the power of the irradiated laser beam from 2 μm to 50 μm. Thus by using photo-thermal etching with adequate laser power we could easily fabricate narrow tunnel-shaped channels between the microchambers at the bottom of the agar-layer even during cell cultivation. After 48 h of cultivation of nerve cells, the nerve cells in two adjacent chambers made fiber connections through the fabricated narrow tunnel-shaped channels. These results suggest that photo-thermal etching occurred only in the area where an absorbing material was used, which means that it is possible to photo-thermally etch lines without damaging the cells in the microchambers. The results also suggest that the agar-microchamber cell cultivation system in combination with photo-thermal etching can potentially be used for the next stage of single cell cultivation including the real-time control of the interaction of cells during cell cultivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalLab on a Chip
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 May 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering

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