Biocompatibility and Reduced Drug Absorption of Sol-Gel-Treated Poly(dimethyl siloxane) for Microfluidic Cell Culture Applications.
Journal - Analytical chemistry
Poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS)-based microfluidic devices are now commonly used for a wide variety of biological experiments, including cell culture assays. However, the porous, hydrophobic polymer matrix of PDMS rapidly absorbs small hydrophobic molecules, including hormones and most small-molecule drugs. This makes it challenging to perform experiments that require such substances in PDMS microfluidic devices. This study presents evidence that a sol-gel treatment of PDMS that fills the polymer matrix with silica nanoparticles is effective at reducing the absorption of drugs into the material while preserving its biocompatibility, transparency, and oxygen permeability. We show that the absorption of two anticancer drugs, camptothecin and a kinase inhibitor, is reduced to such an extent that on-chip microfluidic cell culture experiments can recapitulate the results obtained off-chip.