In situ formation, manipulation, and imaging of droplet-encapsulated fibrin networks

Evans, Heather M. and Surenjav, Enkhtuul and Priest, Craig and Herminghaus, Stephan and Seemann, Ralf and Pfohl, Thomas. (2009) In situ formation, manipulation, and imaging of droplet-encapsulated fibrin networks. Lab on a chip, 9 (13). pp. 1933-1941.

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The protein fibrin plays a principal role in blood clotting and forms robust three dimensional networks. Here, microfluidic devices have been tailored to strategically generate and study these bionetworks by confinement in nanoliter volumes. The required protein components are initially encapsulated in separate droplets, which are subsequently merged by electrocoalescence. Next, distinct droplet microenvironments are created as the merged droplets experience one of two conditions: either they traverse a microfluidic pathway continuously, or they "park" to fully evolve an isotropic network before experiencing controlled deformations. High resolution fluorescence microscopy is used to image the fibrin networks in the microchannels. Aggregation (i.e."clotting") is significantly affected by the complicated flow fields in moving droplets. In stopped-flow conditions, an isotropic droplet-spanning network forms after a suitable ripening time. Subsequent network deformation, induced by the geometric structure of the microfluidic channel, is found to be elastic at low rates of deformation. A shape transition is identified for droplets experiencing rates of deformation higher than an identified threshold value. In this condition, significant densification of protein within the droplet due to hydrodynamic forces is observed. These results demonstrate that flow fields considerably affect fibrin in different circumstances exquisitely controlled using microfluidic tools.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie > Former Organization Units Chemistry > Biophysikalische Chemie (Pfohl)
UniBasel Contributors:Pfohl, Thomas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:06 Nov 2017 12:32
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:43

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