The focus of biotechnology has progressively shifted from DNA recognition to protein analysis and, more recently, to the study of cells. It is expected that major advances in pharmacology and in-vivo medicine will stem from the in-depth understanding of cellular mechanisms.
Microfluidic systems have become established as the preferred tools for the investigation of cellular mechanisms. They provide a unique ability to use only minor quantities of expensive biochemical reactants, to provide an utmost controlled environment, and to allow for specific and sensitive observations of the cells and subsequent manipulation for device functionality. However, achieving such goals requires a sophisticated and specific microfluidic approach in order to manipulate cells and/or clusters of cells.
In this handbook, the authors explore the key topics around the use of microfluidics in the exploration of cellular mechanisms:
The different techniques used to transport, manipulate, separate and encapsulate cells or clusters of cells. The problem of cellular culture
Analysis of cell response to biochemical gradients and self-motion of cells in a microfluidic environment Imaging methods to follow cellular behaviourC
Cell-to-cell communication, from a physical point of view (cellular mechanics) and a chemical point of view (biochemical signals)
The aim of this book is to provide the reader with a solid, up-to-date working knowledge of microfluidic systems for cellular investigations and device development. Examples of applications are systematically presented, and the text is written with the desire to present the fundamentals of each one of the preeminent topics for todayâs engineering-based research of cellular mechanisms. The book will provide a guide to techniques and applications for professionals in the fields of bioengineering, biomedical research and medical laboratory technologies