Articles | Volume 5, issue 1
J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 5, 221–228, 2016

Special issue: Dresden Sensor Symposium 2015

J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 5, 221–228, 2016

Regular research article 24 Jun 2016

Regular research article | 24 Jun 2016

Design, characterization, and modeling of microcirculation systems with integrated oxygenators

Mathias Busek, Stefan Gruenzner, Tobias Steege, Florian Schmieder, Udo Klotzbach, and Frank Sonntag Mathias Busek et al.
  • Fraunhofer IWS, Dresden, Germany

Abstract. Here, we describe a microfluidic system for hypoxia assays on human cell culture models. These systems are developed to replace or reduce animal testing in biomedical basic research. The presented system uses a gas-permeable membrane as a gas–liquid interface and a micropump for media actuation to influence the oxygen content in two cell culture chambers. To apply well-defined hypoxic conditions to the cells, a good understanding of the mass transport phenomena is necessary. Therefore, a complete network model of the microfluidic system is presented. This model is validated by means of micro-particle image velocimetry (µPIV) and optical oxygen measurement with fluorescence lifetime detection. Finally, the impact of several process parameters, e.g., the gas permeability of the pump, is discussed using the developed model.

Short summary
A novel cell-cultivation platform with small circulating volume and included oxygen controlling system is presented. This system may be used to investigate the influence of oxygen restriction, called hypoxia, to cultivated human cells and therefore helps to reduce animal testing in this field of research. Furthermore, a mathematic model of the oxygen transport is presented which may be utilized to produce well-defined oxygen microenvironments.