BioChip Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 294–303 | Cite as

Development of the Microfluidic Device to Regulate Shear Stress Gradients

  • Tae Hyeon Kim
  • Jong Min Lee
  • Christian D. Ahrberg
  • Bong Geun ChungEmail author
Original Article


Shear stress occurs in flowing liquids, especially at the interface of a flowing liquid and a stationary solid phase. Thus, it occurs inside the artery system of the human body, where it is responsible for a number of biological functions. The shear stress level generally remains less than 70 dyne/cm2 in the whole circulatory system, but in the stenotic arteries, which are constricted by 95%, a shear stress greater than 1,000 dyne/cm2 can be reached. Methods of researching the effects of shear stress on cells are of large interest to understand these processes. Here, we show the development of a microfluidic device for generating shear stress gradients. The performance of the shear stress gradient generator was theoretically simulated prior to experiments. Through simple manipulations of the liquid flow, the shape and magnitude of the shear stress gradients can be manipulated. Our microfluidic device consisted of five portions divided by arrays of micropillars. The generated shear stress gradient has five distinct levels at 8.38, 6.55, 4.42, 2.97, and 2.24 dyne/cm2. Thereafter, an application of the microfluidic device was demonstrated testing the effect of shear stress on human umbilical vein endothelial cells.


Microfluidic device Shear stress Micropillar 


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Copyright information

© The Korean BioChip Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringSogang UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Research CenterSogang UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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