Organ-on-a-Chip Culture Systems

1. Do I need to buy additional equipment to use with idenTx and organiX?

No additional equipment is needed. AIM chips and plates are standalone consumables akin to standard tissue culture plasticware. If you currently perform cell culture experiments in your lab, all you’ll need to procure is a polymerizable hydrogel of your choice to extend your studies into 3D.

2. What experiments can I run with idenTx and organiX?

To date, there are over 160 publications by our customers using AIM Biotech devices. Their studies encompass immuno-oncology (immune checkpoint & T cell therapy), blood-brain barrier, angiogenesis, transendothelial migration, cancer aggregate dispersion, cancer cell migration, extravasation, intravasation, neurite guidance, stem cell differentiation, etc. in addition, idenTx and organiX are open platforms for you to test new ideas and to develop interesting applications.

3. What hydrogels can be used with idenTx and organiX?

Any polymerizable hydrogel that suits your application can be used, e.g. various types of collagen, fibrin, etc. The hydrogels may be used on their own or in combination with other components like laminin, Matrigel, etc. However, do note that hydrogel quality may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. There may also be batch-to-batch variations.

4. Do I need to coat the surface of idenTx and organiX before seeding cells?

You should coat idenTx and organiX with the extracellular matrix proteins that best suit your cells. For example, coat with fibronectin before endothelial cells are seeded into the media channel. It is not necessary to coat the media channels if cells are only seeded in the hydrogel.

5. How many cells do I need to use with idenTx and organiX?

The optimal cell density depends on your specific application and the design of your experiment. For example, an idenTx 3 chip (with 3 microfluidic sites per chip) will need approximately 30,000 endothelial cells per site to generate a confluent endothelial monolayer overnight. By contrast, you will only need 3000 cells per site if you plan to seed the cells in the hydrogel to study cell migration. idenTx and organiX are flexible platforms that can be adapted to various cell seeding densities; you may have to optimize your cells seeding strategies for your specific applications. Our Applications-Specific Protocols have more information on specific applications.

6. How often should I change the media?
Unlike standard 2D cell culture flasks, microfluidic devices use very small quantities of culture media. As such, you should change media daily to replenish the consumed media. We recommend that users attach a syringe pump to maintain a stable gradient or interstitial flow.
7. What devices can I connect to idenTx and organiX?

idenTx and organiX can be connected to devices with luer interfaces through AIM Luer Connectors (LUC-1). The connectors attach directly into media channel ports to form a female luer lock interface, enabling users to connect male luer components such as:

  • syringe barrels – to form media reservoirs, or to establish pressure gradients for interstitial flow across the gel channel

  • syringe pumps via tubing and 3rd party male luer tubing connectors – to run dynamic cell culture experiments, to enable media exchange or to set up interstitial flow or chemical gradients across the gel channel

Please use the included Inlet Seals to seal off the gel inlets. This will stop cell culture media from flowing through the porous gel and out through the gel inlets.

8. What microscopy techniques can I use with idenTx and organiX?

Bright field, phase contrast, epi-fluorescence, 2-photon and confocal microscopy are all routinely used for oth qualitative and quantitative imaging studies. The chips are also compatible with oil/water immersion techniques for high magnification imaging. However, do note that signals may become weaker when a high numerical aperture (NA) lens is used to image deeper regions of the chips due to scattering & spherical aberration.

9. Other than microscopy, what analytical techniques can I use with idenTx and organiX?

You may pool the media in the media channels from multiple sites and detect analytes (typically proteins of interest) present in the media through the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or other assays. However, do note that the local concentration of a substance in the channel is usually higher than the concentration in the media that you collect from the ports.

Cells in the media channel can also be collected by trypsinization. Hydrogels can also be dissolved with the appropriate enzymes (e.g. trypsin for fibrin gels, collagenase for collagen gels) to release cells from within the gel. You can perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other assays that utilize collected cells as an input. Do take into account the number of cells that can be collected from each channel for your experimental setup. You may need to adjust your collection strategy for assays that require more cells.

10. Can I reuse idenTx and organiX chips, plates or inserts?

No, the idenTx and organiX are not designed to be reused. The sterility and functionality of the chips cannot be guaranteed if the chips are used again.

11. Can I use idenTx 3 Chips without the microtiter plate Holder?

Yes, you can. However, you have to make sure the chips are elevated so that gas exchange can take place through the laminated underside. The microtiter plate holder is designed to ensure the air circulation is not obstructed on the laminated underside. The holder also helps to reduce the evaporation loss of media from the chips.

12. Can cells or human tissues be harvested at the end of the experiment?

This is best achieved using organiX, which has features specifically designed for this purpose, e.g. a design that allows the easy removal of the bottom laminate. organiX Plates come with a dedicated extraction tool to easily harvest the sample for downstream processing like IHC or digital spatial profiling.

13. For organiX, do I need to finish all 24 inserts in one experiment?

No, unused organiX inserts can be removed from the organiX holder and kept sterile in a sterile container (e.g. 50 ml centrifuge tubes or multiwell plates) for later use. organiX Plates come with organiX Plate Seals that can be used to seal off the resulting empty wells in order to minimize medium evaporation and reduce the risk of contamination.

Ordering, Payment & Shipping

1. How do I place an order?
Place your order directly through AIM Biotech’s webstore or through our distributors. Click on the ‘Store’ tab on the navigation menu, select your items, checkout and pay by Paypal or credit card. Alternatively, email your order details to sales@aimbiotech.com for a quotation.
2. Can I make a purchase if I do not have a credit card?
You can set up a Paypal account and pay directly through Paypal. Payments can also be made by transferring funds directly into AIM Biotech’s bank account in Singapore. Email your order details to sales@aimbiotech.com for a quotation, confirm with a purchase order and AIM Biotech’s bank account details will be provided in the invoice for your order.
Can AIM's products to be sent to my country?
AIM ships products to 220 countries by courier service. AIM products are also available through distributors in select countries.
4. How much should I expect to pay for shipping?
Shipping fees will be displayed when you check out of AIM Biotech’s online store. The fees will also be shown in each quotation. The fees are the direct rates charged by AIM’s appointed couriers, calculated from the volumetric weight of your order. Please note that any duties/fees charged by the customs authorities in your country are not included in the shipping cost, and will be billed to you separately by the courier service if duties are levied.
5. How long will it take my order to reach me?
We typically ship your order within 1 working day; we will contact you by email if any delays are foreseen. Courier services typically take 3-5 working days to deliver anywhere in the world. A tracking number will be provided with every shipment.
6. Can I return the products if I'm not satisfied with them?

AIM will provide replacements if manufacturing defects or shipping damage occur. Please contact us at customersupport@aimbiotech.com if you encounter the above.