The challenge in developing systems for testing new medications and cosmetic products lies in culturing of several complex tissue cultures, such as skin, liver, and kidneys on one chip. The micro-engineering at Fraunhofer IWS for control of fluids necessary for this includes provision of valves, pumps, and a series of internal channels and reservoirs.
Design and operating principle
The micro-components for controlling the fluids are cast PDMS or constituted of multiple layers of foils. Pneumatically-controlled micro-pumps, micro-valves as well as multi-level internal channels and culturing chambers are integrated within the support plate. The connections for the pneumatics, fluid inlets and outlets as well as the reservoirs are made via a connection plate of polycarbonate (PC) or cyclic olefin copolymers (COC).
- 25 mm x 75 mm micro-engineered support plate
- temperature range 20 °C to 40 °C
- throughput of internal pumps 0.3 µL/s to 2 µL/s
- introduction of oxygen via the micro-pumps
- non-invasive oxygen measurements on chip
The development of this technology platform provides a new, high-performance tool for research and development in the field of tissue reconstruction, investigation of pharmaceutical drugs, and conducting cytotoxicity studies.