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Engineering Shelf-Stable Coating for Microfluidic Organ-on-a-Chip Using Bioinspired Catecholamine Polymers

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journal contribution
posted on 03.02.2020, 21:11 by Sultan Khetani, Kar Wey Yong, Vinayaraj Ozhukil Kollath, Erin Eastick, Milad Azarmanesh, Kunal Karan, Arindom Sen, Amir Sanati-Nezhad
The conceptualization of body-on-a-chip in 2004 resulted in a new approach for studying human physiology in three-dimensional culture. Despite pioneering works and the progress made in replicating human physiology on-a-chip, the stability, reliability, and preservation of cell-culture-treated microfluidic chips remain a challenge. The development of a reliable surface treatment technique to more efficiently and reproducibly modify microfluidic channels would significantly simplify the process of creating and implementing organ-on-a-chip (OOC) systems. In this work, a new flow-based coating technique using bioinspired polymers was implemented to create reliable, reproducible, ready-to-use microfluidic cell culture chips for OOC studies. Single-channel polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic chips were coated with the bioinspired catecholamine polymers, polydopamine (PDA) and polynorepinephrine (PNE), using a flow-based coating technique. The functionality of the resulting microfluidic chips was evaluated by extensive surface characterizations, at 130 °C, in the presence of various cleaning and culture media in static and flow conditions regularly used in OOCs and tested for shelf life by storing the coated microfluidic chips for 4 months at room temperature. Microfluidic chips coated with polycatecholamine were then seeded with the mouse cancer cell line Cath.a.differentiated (CAD) and with the normal human cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (hCMEC)/D3. Cell viability, cell phenotype, and cell functionality were assessed to evaluate the performance of both the coatings and the surface treatment technique. Both PDA- and PNE-coated microfluidic chips maintained high viability, phenotype, and functionality of CAD cells and hCMEC/D3 cells. In addition, CAD cells retained high viability when they were cultured in both the polymer-coated chips, which were stored at room temperature for up to 120 days. These results suggest that flow-based techniques to coat surfaces with polycatecholamines can be used to generate ready-to-use microfluidic OOC chips that offer long-term stability and reliability for the culture of cell types with application in pathophysiological studies and drug screening.