Microfluidics for Cellular Engineering book cover

Microfluidics for Cellular Engineering

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

Tissue engineering

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 today’s 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


1) Research scientists and engineers involved in the applied R&D areas of Biomicrofludics, Cell Mechanics, Cell Biology, Microfabrication, BioMEMS, Biomaterials

2) Academics: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering / Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering (graduate Students, Post-doctoral fellows, principal investigators)

3) BioMEMS and Microfluidics industries adapting existing products and technologies for cellular engineering techniques and methods

4) Clinical biomedical laboratory researchers working on methods for Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells, and Regenerative Medicine technologies

5) Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Industry Scientists working on drug discovery, drug delivery methods, safety and drug screening


Hardbound, 432 Pages

Published: February 2015

Imprint: William Andrew

ISBN: 978-1-4377-3457-7


    1. Introduction to Biomicrofluidics
    2. 1.1. Laminar microflows

      1.2. Non Newtonian fluids

      1.3. Scaling numbers

    3. Chapter 2 : Inertial microfluidics
      1. Single phase flow focusing
        1. Principles
        2. Modeling

      2. Dean flows
        1. Inertial effects in curved channels
        2. Alignments of cells in Dean flows
        3. Separation using Dean flows
        4. Modeling issues

      3. Separation
        1. Pinched channels
        2. DLDs

      4. Zweifach-Fung law
      5. Non-Newtonian aspects of biologic liquids
        1. Non-Newtonian rheology
        2. Fahraeus effect

      6. Cell trapping
        1. In wells
        2. In cusps

      7. Vesicle and cell deformability in a microflow

    4. Chapter 3 : Digital and droplet microfluidics
      1. Digital microfluidics
        1. Principles of EWOD
        2. Cell motion and lysis in digital microsystems

      2. Droplet microfluidics
        1. Flow focusing devices
        2. Encapsulation
            1. Encapsulation in polymeric solutions
            2. Biocompatibility and viability

        3. Cell lysis in 3D droplet systems

    5. Chapter 4 : Cell manipulation
      1. Acoustic methods-acoustic focalization
      2. Optical tweezers
      3. Magnetic methods
      4. Electric methods
        1. Dielectrophoresis
        2. EHD and ECC
        3. Flow cytometry - Coulter effect

    6. Chapter 5: Blood
      1. Rheology
      2. Plasma separation
      3. Coagulation

    7. Chapter 6: Microscale cell culture
      1. Microbial culture
        1. Bacteria
        2. Yeast and fungi

      2. Mammalian culture
        1. Two dimensional cell culture
        2. Single cell culture
            1. single cell on patterned substrate
            2. single cell in specific environment (droplets)

        3. Three dimensional cell culture

    8. Chapter 7 : Tissue engineering
    9. Chapter 8: Microfluidics and cell analysis
      1. Cell transfection
      2. Cell sorting
        1. Cells in concentration gradients
        2. Self motion

      3. Live cell analysis
        1. Electric methods
        2. Cellular markers and imaging

      4. Cell lysis & Analysis of cellular contents
      5. Applications

      (8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 and 8.5 could be divided in 3 individual chapters)

    10. Chapter 9: Microfluidics and Cellular communication
      1. Biochemical signals
      2. Physical & Mechanical signals
      3. Applications



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