Effects of flow and diffusion on chemotaxis studies in a microfabricated gradient generator.
An understanding of chemotaxis at the level of cell-molecule interactions is important because of its relevance in cancer, immunology, and microbiology, just to name a few. This study quantifies the effects of flow on cell migration during chemotaxis in a microfluidic device. The chemotaxis gradient within the device was modeled and compared to experimental results. Chemotaxis experiments were performed using the chemokine CXCL8 under different flow rates with human HL60 promyelocytic leukemia cells expressing a transfected CXCR2 chemokine receptor. Cell trajectories were separated into x and y axis components. When the microchannel flow rates were increased, cell trajectories along the x axis were found to be significantly affected (p < 0.05). Total migration distances were not affected. These results should be considered when using similar microfluidic devices for chemotaxis studies so that flow bias can be minimized. It may be possible to use this effect to estimate the total tractile force exerted by a cell during chemotaxis, which would be particularly valuable for cells whose tractile forces are below the level of detection with standard techniques of traction-force microscopy.
Walker, GM; Sai, J; Richmond, A; Stremler, M; Chung, CY; Wikswo, JP
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