Biocompatibility of fluids for multiphase drops-in-drops microfluidics.
Prastowo A., Feuerborn A., Cook PR., Walsh EJ.
This paper addresses the biocompatibility of fluids and surfactants in the context of microfluidics and more specifically in a drops-in-drops system for mammalian cell based drug screening. In the drops-in-drops approach, three immiscible fluids are used to manipulate the flow of aqueous microliter-sized drops; it enables merging of drops containing cells with drops containing drugs within a Teflon tube. Preliminary tests showed that a commonly-used fluid and surfactant combination resulted in significant variability in gene expression levels in Jurkat cells after exposure to a drug for four hours. This result led to further investigations of potential fluid and surfactant combinations that can be used in microfluidic systems for medium to long-term drug screening. Results herein identify a fluid combination, HFE-7500 and 5-cSt silicone oil + 0.25% Abil EM180, which enabled the drops-in-drops approach; this combination also allowed gene expression at normal levels comparable with the conventional drug screening in both magnitude and variability.