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Micromachines (Basel). 2019 May 30;10(6). pii: E360. doi: 10.3390/mi10060360.

A Low-Cost, Rapidly Integrated Debubbler (RID) Module for Microfluidic Cell Culture Applications.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA. mjw3257@rit.edu.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA. nkl8768@rit.edu.
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA. jam9795@rit.edu.
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA. nxm6619@rit.edu.
5
Microsystems Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA. aa5925@rit.edu.
6
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA. vvabme@rit.edu.

Abstract

Microfluidic platforms use controlled fluid flows to provide physiologically relevant biochemical and biophysical cues to cultured cells in a well-defined and reproducible manner. Undisturbed flows are critical in these systems, and air bubbles entering microfluidic channels can lead to device delamination or cell damage. To prevent bubble entry into microfluidic channels, we report a low-cost, Rapidly Integrated Debubbler (RID) module that is simple to fabricate, inexpensive, and easily combined with existing experimental systems. We demonstrate successful removal of air bubbles spanning three orders of magnitude with a maximum removal rate (dV/dt)max = 1.5 mL min-1, at flow rates required to apply physiological wall shear stress (1-200 dyne cm-2) to mammalian cells cultured in microfluidic channels.

KEYWORDS:

bubble removal; fluid-induced wall shear-stress (WSS); mechanobiology; microfluidics

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