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Biomicrofluidics. 2011 Mar 30;5(1):13401. doi: 10.1063/1.3528299.

Stem cells in microfluidics.

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  • 1Department of Engineering Science, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan.


Microfluidic techniques have been recently developed for cell-based assays. In microfluidic systems, the objective is for these microenvironments to mimic in vivo surroundings. With advantageous characteristics such as optical transparency and the capability for automating protocols, different types of cells can be cultured, screened, and monitored in real time to systematically investigate their morphology and functions under well-controlled microenvironments in response to various stimuli. Recently, the study of stem cells using microfluidic platforms has attracted considerable interest. Even though stem cells have been studied extensively using bench-top systems, an understanding of their behavior in in vivo-like microenvironments which stimulate cell proliferation and differentiation is still lacking. In this paper, recent cell studies using microfluidic systems are first introduced. The various miniature systems for cell culture, sorting and isolation, and stimulation are then systematically reviewed. The main focus of this review is on papers published in recent years studying stem cells by using microfluidic technology. This review aims to provide experts in microfluidics an overview of various microfluidic systems for stem cell research.

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