A vast number of biological processes involve cells interacting with other cells or molecules under shear flow conditions. Examples include blood clotting, tissue repair, immune and inflammatory response, bacterial infections, and cancer progression. There are two main approaches to studying these phenomena in drug discovery and cellular biology laboratories: static well plates and laminar flow chambers. Well plates can offer higher throughput, but their lack of flow control typically lowers the physiological relevance of the assay. Laminar flow chambers provide shear flow, but current systems suffer from limited throughput, long setup times, poor dynamic range of flow, large reagent consumption and often unreliable results (i.e. leaks, bubble formation, etc.).
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