Microfluidics and Micropatterning

BioMEMs, Micropatterning and Microfluidics

The LCN is fully equipped for all BioMEMs, Micropatterning, and Microfluidic applications. We have particular expertise with cell and molecular biology applications of microfluidics and micropatterning and are eager to promote the use of these within UCL and Imperial College. If you would like to discuss your potential application with us, please contact Rachel McKendry (r.a.mckendry@ucl.ac.uk) or Guillaume Charras (g.charras@ucl.ac.uk).
SU8 and PDMS processes

The LCN clean room is fully equipped to undertake all SU8 processes. This includes wafer spinners, two mask aligners, and microscopes. Access to the SU8 area is administered by Steve Etienne (s.etienne@ucl.ac.uk).

In addition, the LCN offers access to all of the equipment needed for generating PDMS replicas of the SU8 molds in one single space. This includes balances, vacuum pumps, ovens, and a plasma cleaner.

Training

Independent access will be granted to users after an hour-long training to ensure best practices and that safety procedures are familiar. After hours usage is at the discretion of LCN staff and for experienced users only.
In addition, the LCN offers a quarterly half-day training on the use of SU8/PDMS processes for microfluidic and micro-patterning applications in biology and chemical engineering. If you are interested, please email Guillaume Charras.


Figure 1: Neutrophil ChemotaxisFigure 1: Neutrophil Chemotaxis

Neutrophils are the primary cells of the immune system responsible for detecting and preventing bacterial infections, as well as driving inflammation. Neutrophils circulate freely in the bloodstream, and when passing through an inflamed region attach the blood vessel wall, traverse the endothelium (transendothelial migration), and migrate through the connective tissue to the site of infection (chemotaxis). Here a neutrophil (in red) is shown migrating through a 10x3µm microfluidic channel towards a source of chemoattractant (in blue). Scale bar = 5µm. Guillaume Charras in collaboration with Dr Irimia, Massachusetts General Hospital. For more information please read the following document.

Figure 2: Neutrophile entering channel

Figure 2: Neutrophil entering a 10um wide by 3um tall PDMS channel.
Differential Interference contrast image.
Guillaume Charras in collaboration with Dr Irimia, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Figure 3: HeLa cell on a triangular micropatterned substrate.
The cell was fixed and stained for actin.
Image by Mathieu Poujade.

Figure 3:  HeLa cell on a triangular micropatterned substrate.