Detecting cell-secreted growth factors in microfluidic devices using bead-based biosensors

Kyung Jin Son, Pantea Gheibi, Gulnaz Stybayeva, Ali Rahimian, Alexander Revzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Microfluidic systems provide an interesting alternative to standard macroscale cell cultures due to the decrease in the number of cells and reagents as well as the improved physiology of cells confined to small volumes. However, the tools available for cell-secreted molecules inside microfluidic devices remain limited. In this paper, we describe an integrated microsystem composed of a microfluidic device and a fluorescent microbead-based assay for the detection of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 secreted by primary hepatocytes. This microfluidic system is designed to separate a cell culture chamber from sensing chambers using a permeable hydrogel barrier. Cell-secreted HGF and TGF-β1 diffuse through the hydrogel barrier into adjacent sensing channels and are detected using fluorescent microbead-based sensors. The specificity of sensing microbeads is defined by the choice of antibodies; therefore, our microfluidic culture system and sensing microbeads may be applied to a variety of cells and cell-secreted factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17025
JournalMicrosystems and Nanoengineering
StatePublished - 2017


  • Biosensors
  • Growth factors
  • Microbead
  • Microchamber
  • Primary hepatocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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