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A micro-fluidic level sensing and dispensing system for large-scale stem cell experimentations

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6 Author(s)
Seth Yang En Tan ; School of Chemical and Lifescience, Singapore Polytechnic, 500 Dover Road, Singapore 139651 ; Eng Soon Loh ; Toon Tien Foo ; Woon Shin Chong
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Embryonic stem cells, ESC are the foundation for all the tissue and organ, in the body. They are unique and have the ability to differentiate into any type of cell in the human body. Large number of experiments is usually required in order to establish how stem cells can be effectively grown outside the body before they can be effectively used in regenerative medicine to cure life-style related diseases. These can range from the determination of the optimum growth factors to the cell differentiation mechanism. Such experiments if they were to be truly exhaustive are not only costly in terms of the scientist's effort but require large sterilised incubation space, particularly if they were to be carried out manually using Petri dishes based on 10 reagents - requiring a combination of 10! In order to comprehensively explore all the possible combination of the reagent and growth factors required, high throughput automated dispensing and high density micro-wells are critically required. The viability of the cells for large scale experiments depends on many factors. The main aim of the research describe in this paper is to establish the key factors to ensure cell viability. This include the determination of most effective number of wells per plate; its ideal size, diameter and depth; amount of fluid to contain; effective number of cells in a colony; level of humidity; salinity and evaporation rates of the medium. It is through these research findings, that a micro-fluidic level sensing and dispensing system for cell cultivation is developed as a base for high throughput experiments.

Published in:

2006 IEEE Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation

Date of Conference:

20-22 Sept. 2006