A microfluidic platform for dissociating clinical scale tissue samples into single cells

Funding Sponsor

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Author's Department

Chemistry Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Biomedical Microdevices

Publication Date





The advancement of sample preparation techniques is essential for the field of cell-based therapeutics. To obtain cells suited for clinical applications, the entire process starting from acquiring donor tissue biopsy, all through cell transplantation into the recipient, should occur in an integrated, safe, and efficient system. The current laboratory approach for solid tissue-to-cell isolation is invasive and involves multiple incoherent manual procedures running in an open operator-dependent system. Such an approach provides a chain of events for systematic cell loss that would be unfavorable for rare cell populations such as adult and cancer stem cells. A few lab-on-chip platforms were proposed to process biological tissues, however, they were limited to partial tissue dissociation and required additional processing off-chip. Here, we report the first microfluidic platform that can dissociate native biological tissue into ready-to-use single cells. The platform can merge the successive steps of tissue dissociation, debris filtration, cell sieving, washing, and staining in one streamlined process. Performance of the platform was tested with diverse biological tissues and it could yield viable cells that were ready for on or off-chip cell culture without further processing. Microfluidic tissue dissociation using this platform produced a higher number of viable single cells (an average of 2262 cells/ml per milligram of tissue compared to 1233.25 cells/ml/mg with conventional dissociation).

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