WIT Press

Design syntheses and analyses of a lab on a chip (LoC) module based on biological cell requirements in nature


Free (open access)


Volume 10 (2015), Issue 1



Page Range

70 - 86

Paper DOI



WIT Press




It is of a growing interest among researchers in the biotechnology field to acquire a reliable system that maintains the viability of a cell in an in vitro environment for a sufficient period of time, and provides multi-task analyses on a mammalian cell. Therefore, the Lab-on-a Chip (LoC) field has been initiated to address such needs. The objectives of this work are (1) to provide a review on how nature defines the design requirements of a miniaturized system for cell viability – mimicking that of an in vivo domain, as well as extracting cellular electrophysiology at a molecular level, and (2) to translate such requirements into an engineering application of design synthesis and analyses of two main integrated components of an LoC platform: microfluidic (µF), and Multi-Electrode-Array (MEA) systems. As a result, this work highlights the optimal environment of a cell to live and grow for bioresearch by acquiring an engineered system of nutrition supply and removal of wastes (perfusion), pH neutralization, sufficient supply of oxygen, thermal stability, elimination of air pockets, and a presence of a highly salted aqueous solution. On the essence of cellular nature and design interrelation, the results of the Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analyses visualize and predict flow characteristics, investi- gate the optimization process of having a uniform flow pattern (uniform nutrition distribution), elimination of air pockets for cell within the microfluidic module, and arriving at a stable system in terms of controllability and durability. Similarly, the MEA’s empirical analyses define an optimal pitch distance between two neighbouring electrodes that would visualize and arrive at a uniform current density distribution, allowing sufficient space for cell-line growth. In conclusion, the biology principles should be comprehended prior to modelling, design, and microfabrication of a LoC, to place such module as a valuable tool for bio-experimentalists.



Biotechnology, cellular electrophysiology, cell viability, constructal law, in vitro, in vivo, lab-on-a- chip, microfluidic, multi-electrode arrays.