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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 373569, 8 pages
Clinical Study

A Sensitive Chemotaxis Assay Using a Novel Microfluidic Device

1Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China
3Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02115, USA

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 18 July 2013

Academic Editor: Koichiro Wada

Copyright © 2013 Chen Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Existing chemotaxis assays do not generate stable chemotactic gradients and thus—over time—functionally measure only nonspecific random motion (chemokinesis). In comparison, microfluidic technology has the capacity to generate a tightly controlled microenvironment that can be stably maintained for extended periods of time and is, therefore, amenable to adaptation for assaying chemotaxis. We describe here a novel microfluidic device for sensitive assay of cellular migration and show its application for evaluating the chemotaxis of smooth muscle cells in a chemokine gradient.