Technology

versatile, modular and open architecture system

Technology

versatile, modular and open architecture system

Benefits and customers: Aim’s models are human systems that recreate tissue formation as well as mimic the the function of specific organs. The result is what clinicians observe in clinical trials.

Research

Research

Order the AIM chips and run peer-reviewed validated protocols right in your labs.

Ease of Use

  • Assay development
  • Publications
Bio Pharma

Bio Pharma

Take advantage of AIM’s plates that fit right into your lab workflow.

Reduce Animal Studies

  • Plug and Play
  • Predictive models
Personalized Medicine

Targeted Therapeutics

Partner with AIM to create custom assays and companion diagnostics.

Companion diagnostics

  • Biomarkers
  • Cohort selection

Key features of AIM microfluidic chips

  • Long working regions that are easily injectable with hydrogel, with low risk of leakage
  • Gas permeable bottom laminate ensures accurate reflections of incubator conditions (normoxic or hypoxic), without needing to use rockers or pumps.
  • Multicellular co-culture, with meaningful organization into models of biological systems
  • Control over chemical gradients and flow across the gel region and/or within the media channels

Novel posts enable easy gel filling & long working regions

AIM 3D Cell Culture Chips utilize a patented approach with a novel post design in conjunction with optimized post spacing & channel height. This allows hydrogels to be contained within gel channels during the hydrogel filling process, with little risk of leaking into adjacent channels. The 3DT chip, for instance, has a 10.5mm long gel region.

The air-liquid interface is substantially flat & uniform, with minimal occurrence of concave (under-filled) or convex (over-filled) interfaces. As the hydrogel is caged within the gel channel, the meniscus that usually obstructs phase contrast imaging is also absent. In short, AIM chips make it easy for users to cast hydrogels for 3D cell culture, and provide excellent optical clarity for various imaging techniques.

Air Uploaded Interface

Gas permeable laminate

AIM 3D Cell Culture Chips are fabricated with gas permeable laminates to ensure that oxygen tension in each chip correctly reflects incubator conditions. Users have the flexibility of setting up normoxic or hypoxic culture conditions. As gas exchange happens through the gas permeable laminate, there’s no need to rock the devices or to perfuse them with pumps. Shear forces from rocking or pumps can be avoided. ​

Gas permeable laminate

Multicellular culture made possible, with meaningful organization into models of biological systems

The multi-channel design of AIM 3D Cell Culture Chips enables the co-culture of different cell types in distinct compartments in the device, yet allowing paracrine signalling between cell types to take place. The movement of cells between different channels (or within an individual channel) can be easily observed & tracked.

The growth and/or migration of cells within gel can often cause gel shrinkage or degradation. This problem is mitigated by the use of posts in AIM chips. The posts help to stabilize the gel and increase cell culture duration before the matrix collapses.

Multicellular culture
Multicellular culture

Control over chemical gradients & interstitial flow

A chemical concentration gradient can easily be created across the porous 3D hydrogel by using a higher concentration of the chemical in a channel and allowing diffusion to take place.

This feature is very useful for studies where directional cues of effectors are critical, including angiogenesis, cell migration and neurite guidance.

The interstitial flow across the 3D hydrogel can be controlled by setting up a pressure gradient between the flanking channels. This can be achieved by having a larger media volume in one media channel than the other, or by setting shear flow regimes that establish a pressure differential.

AIM chips enable users to control shear flow in media channels with/without creating a pressure gradient across the gel channel.  Shear flows are typically set by connecting the chip to a standard syringe pump through accessory connectors.

Illustration of a chemical gradient

Illustration of a chemical gradient

Interstitial and shear flows

Illustration of a chemical gradient

Selected Publications

  • Vickerman V, Blundo J, Chung S and Kamm RD. Design, fabrication and implementation of a novel multi-parameter control microfluidic platform for three-dimensional cell culture and real-time imaging Lab Chip, 2008, 8, 1468–1477, DOI: 10.1039/b802395f
  • Farahat W, Wood L, Zervantonakis I, Schor A, Ong S, Neal D, Kamm RD, and Asada H. Ensemble Analysis of Angiogenic Growth in Three-Dimensional Microfluidic Cell Cultures PLoS ONE 7(5): e37333. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037333, May 2012.
  • Shin Y, Han S, Jeon JS, Yamamoto K, Zervantonakis IK, Sudo R, Kamm RD and Chung S. Microfluidic assay for simultaneous culture of multiple cell types on surfaces or within hydrogels. Nature Prot, 7(7):1247-1259, 2012, PMID: 22678430