Cryopreservation solutions must contain some type of cryoprotective agent. Conventional methods of cryopreserving blood cells for therapeutic applications involve the use of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Current methods of cryoprotectant introduction require trained lab technicians and are labor intensive. It is proposed that a microfluidic device can be used to introduce a cryopreservation solution into a cell suspension.
Microfluidic devices for this application use low Reynolds number (laminar) flows to control cell motion and diffusion of DMSO from one stream to the other.
Numerical simulations suggest that diffusion-based introduction of DMSO into cells using a microfluidic device is viable.
In order to validate the theoretical model used in these simulations, a prototype was built and the flow of two parallel streams, (1) a cell suspension without DMSO or a PBS solution stream and (2) a donor stream with DMSO, was characterized experimentally. Desired outlet concentration is 10% DMSO v/v in cell suspension.
Additional contributors: Rohini Bala Chandran; Katie Glass; Brian Darr; Jacob Hanna; Mario Costello; Dave Hultman; Bob Jones; Mike Leveille; Allison Hubel (faculty mentor).
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Additional support was provided by the University of Minnesota Grant-in-aid Program, the National Blood Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.
Introduction of Cryopreservation Solutions Using a Microfluidic Device.
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