, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 761-767,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 13 May 2010

Multiphysics simulation of a microfluidic perfusion chamber for brain slice physiology


Understanding and optimizing fluid flows through in vitro microfluidic perfusion systems is essential in mimicking in vivo conditions for biological research. In a previous study a microfluidic brain slice device (μBSD) was developed for microscale electrophysiology investigations. The device consisted of a standard perfusion chamber bonded to a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel substrate. Our objective in this study is to characterize the flows through the μBSD by using multiphysics simulations of injections into a pourous matrix to identify optimal spacing of ports. Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations are performed with CFD-ACE + software to model, simulate, and assess the transport of soluble factors through the perfusion bath, the microchannels, and a material that mimics the porosity, permeability and tortuosity of brain tissue. Additionally, experimental soluble factor transport through a brain slice is predicted by and compared to simulated fluid flow in a volume that represents a porous matrix material. The computational results are validated with fluorescent dye experiments.