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Langmuir. 2007 Apr 24;23(9):5050-5. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Peptide-mediated selective adhesion of smooth muscle and endothelial cells in microfluidic shear flow.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Microfluidic devices have recently emerged as effective tools for cell separation compared to traditional techniques. These devices offer the advantages of small sample volumes, low cost, and high purity. Adhesion-based separation of cells from heterogeneous suspensions can be achieved by taking advantage of specific ligand-receptor interactions. The peptide sequences Arg-Glu-Asp-Val (REDV) and Val-Ala-Pro-Gly (VAPG) are known to bind preferentially to endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs), respectively. This article examines the roles of REDV and VAPG and fluid shear stress in achieving selective capture of ECs and SMCs in microfluidic devices. The adhesion of ECs in REDV-coated devices and SMCs in VAPG-coated devices increases significantly compared to that of the nontargeted cells with decreasing shear stress. Furthermore, the adhesion of these cells is shown to be independent of whether these cells flow through the devices as suspensions of only one cell type or as a heterogeneous suspension containing ECs, SMCs, and fibroblasts. Whereas the overall adhesion of cells in the devices is determined mainly by shear stress, the selectivity of adhesion depends on the type of peptide and on the device surface as well as on the shear stress.

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