Cellular Monolayers: Growing mammalian cells in the BioFlux microfluidic channels

Many cell adhesion or host-pathogen interaction studies require a monolayer of cells as the adhesion substrate. Tissue culture cells which readily attach to plasma-treated plastic vessels often have difficulty attaching to glass surfaces. To remedy this, glass surfaces can be coated with a variety of natural and artificial growth matrixes, such as collagen, fibronec- tin or poly-l-lysine. While the matrix required for growth may be cell-line specific, the method of coating the Bioflux channels is extensible to other coatings.

The BioFlux system (Figure 1) is a microfluidic platform designed to run automated shear flow protocols for cell biology and microbiology experiments. This technical note covers a method to coat the glass surface of the BioFlux channels (Figure 2), seed cells and propagate cells in preparation for live-cell adhesion assays.