Quantitative Comparison between Microfluidic and Microtiter Plate Formats for Cell-Based Assays

In this paper, we compare a quantitative cell-based assay measuring the intracellular Ca<sup>2+</sup> response to the agonist uridine 5‘-triphosphate in Chinese hamster ovary cells, in both microfluidic and microtiter formats. The study demonstrates that, under appropriate hydrodynamic conditions, there is an excellent agreement between traditional well-plate assays and those obtained on-chip for both suspended immobilized cells and cultured adherent cells. We also demonstrate that the on-chip assay, using adherent cells, provides the possibility of faster screening protocols with the potential for resolving subcelluar information about local Ca<sup>2+</sup> flux.