Culture of primary rat hippocampal neurons: Design, analysis, and optimization of a microfluidic device for cell seeding, coherent growth, and solute delivery

Alexander C. Barbati, Cheng Fang, Gary Banker, Brian J. Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


We present the design, analysis, construction, and culture results of a microfluidic device for the segregation and chemical stimulation of primary rat hippocampal neurons. Our device is designed to achieve spatio-temporal solute delivery to discrete sections of neurons with mitigated mechanical stress. We implement a geometric guidance technique to direct axonal processes of the neurons into specific areas of the device to achieve solute segregation along routed cells. Using physicochemical modeling, we predict flows, concentration profiles, and mechanical stresses within pertiment sections of the device. We demonstrate cell viability and growth within the closed device over a period of 11 days. Additionally, our modeling methodology may be generalized and applied to other device geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013



  • Axonal damage
  • Axonal transport
  • Cell culture
  • Drug delivery
  • Huntington's disease
  • Microfluidic
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Neuron
  • PDMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology

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