Microfluidic array for three-dimensional perfusion culture of human mammary epithelial cells
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The ability to culture cells in three dimensional extracellular matrix (3D ECM) has proven to be an important tool for laboratory biology. Here, we demonstrate a microfluidic perfusion array on a 96-well plate format capable of long term 3D ECM culture within biomimetic microchambers. The array consists of 32 independent flow units, each with a 4 μl open-top culture chamber, and 350 μl inlet and outlet wells. Perfusion is generated using gravity and surface tension forces, allowing the array to be operated without any external pumps. MCF-10A mammary epithelial cells cultured in Matrigel in the microfluidic array exhibit acinus morphology over 9 days consistent with previous literature. We further demonstrated the application of the microfluidic array for in vitro anti-cancer drug screening.