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Neuropathic pain is characterized by mechanical allodynia induced by low-threshold myelinated Aβ-fiber activation. The original gate theory of pain proposes that inhibitory interneurons in the lamina II of the spinal dorsal horn (DH) act as "gate control" units for preventing the interaction between innocuous and nociceptive signals. However, our(More)
Two novel microfluidic cell culture schemes, a vertically-layered set-up and a four chamber set-up, were developed for co-culturing central nervous system (CNS) neurons and glia. The cell chambers in these devices were separated by pressure-enabled valve barriers, which permitted us to control communication between the two cell types. The unique design of(More)
In this study, we developed a microfluidic cell co-culture platform that permits individual manipulation of the microenvironment of different cell types. Separation of the cell culture chambers is controlled by changing the position of a microfabricated valve, which serves as a barrier between the chambers. This unique feature of our platform allowed us to(More)
It is well known that tumor-derived proangiogenic factors induce neovascularization to facilitate tumor growth and malignant progression. However, the concept of "angiocrine" signaling, in which signals produced by endothelial cells elicit tumor cell responses distinct from vessel function, has been proposed, yet remains underinvestigated. Here, we report(More)
A versatile microfluidic platform allowing co-culture of multiple cell populations in close proximity with separate control of their microenvironments would be extremely valuable for many biological applications. Here, we report a simple and compact microfluidic platform that has these desirable features and allows for real-time, live-cell imaging of(More)
We developed a cell-culture/biosensor platform consisting of aptamer-modified Au electrodes integrated with reconfigurable microfluidics for monitoring of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), an important inflammatory and pro-fibrotic cytokine. Aptamers were thiolated, labeled with redox reporters, and self-assembled on gold surfaces. The biosensor(More)
The biomaterial scaffolds for regenerative medicine need to be rationally designed to achieve the desired cell fate and function. This paper describes the development of hydrogel microstructures for cultivation of primary hepatocytes. Four different micropatterned surfaces are tested: 1) poly(ethyelene glycol) (PEG) microwells patterned on glass, 2) heparin(More)
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a central role in the breakdown of the extracellular matrix and are typically upregulated in cancer cells. The goal of the present study is to develop microwells suitable for capture of cells and detection of cell-secreted proteases. Hydrogel microwells comprised of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were photopatterned on(More)
We report the development of a microsystem integrating anti-TNF-α aptasensors with vacuum-actuatable microfluidic devices that may be used to monitor intercellular communications. Actuatable chambers were used to expose to mitogen a group of ~600 cells while not stimulating another group of monocytes only 600 μm away. Co-localizing groups of cells with(More)