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Lab Chip. 2006 Nov;6(11):1462-9. Epub 2006 Sep 4.

T cell chemotaxis in a simple microfluidic device.

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Laboratory of Immunology and Vascular Biology, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Erratum in

  • Lab Chip. 2006 Nov;6(11):1470.


This paper describes the use of a simple microfluidic device for studying T cell chemotaxis. The microfluidic device is fabricated in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) using soft-lithography and consists of a "Y" type fluidic channel. Solutions are infused into the device by syringe pumps and generate a concentration gradient in the channel by diffusion. We show that the experimentally measured gradient profiles agree nicely with theoretical predictions and the gradient is stable in the observation region for cell migration. Using this device, we demonstrate robust chemotaxis of human T cells in response to single and competing gradients of chemokine CCL19 and CXCL12. Because of the simplicity of the device, it can flexibly control gradient generation in space and time, and would allow generation of multiple gradient conditions in a single chip for highly parallel chemotaxis experimentation. Visualization of T cell chemotaxis has previously been limited to studies in 3D matrices or under agarose assays, which do not allow precise control or variation in conditions. Acknowledging the importance of lymphocyte homing in the adaptive immune response, the ability to study T cell chemotaxis in microfluidic devices offers a new approach for investigating lymphocyte migration and chemotaxis in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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