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Microvasc Res. 1993 Jan;45(1):33-45.

A simplified method for culture of endothelial cells and analysis of adhesion of blood cells under conditions of flow.

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Department of Hematology, Medical School, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


We have developed a simplified technique for culturing human umbilical vein endothelial cells under shear flow conditions, using prefabricated glass microcapillary tubes ("microslides") with a well-defined rectangular cross section and good optical quality. These microslides have been incorporated into a controlled flow system for quantitative video-microscopic analysis of the adhesion of blood cells to endothelial cells. Microslides were pretreated with 3-aminopropyltriethoxy-silane, or gelatin, and then loaded with a suspension of endothelial cells. After the cells had settled and attached to the substrate, the microslides were inserted into a flow-based culture system. Medium was drawn through them at intervals or continuously until confluency was reached (approximately 24 hr). Cells were cultured at wall shear stresses over a range 0.06 to 2.2 Pa. For adhesion assays, the endothelialized microslides were attached to microscope slides, and suspensions of blood cells were drawn through at desired wall shear stresses (0.02-0.5 Pa). Adhesion of malarial-infected red blood cells and of neutrophilic granulocytes was quantitated by direct microscopic observation. The adhesive behavior of both cell types closely resembled that previously described by ourselves and others using flow chambers incorporating endothelial-coated glass coverslips. The use of microslides represents a significant simplification of methodology for endothelial cell growth and adhesion studies under flow conditions.

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