A microfluidic lab chip for the manipulation and co-culturing of embryos with stromal cells

Yu Shih Chen, Tzu Wei Lo, Hong Yuan Huang, Lien Min Li, Yi Wen Wang, Da Jeng Yao, Wen Syang Hsu, Cheng Hsien Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations


The combination of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and microfluidic technology might provide a solution to infertility via increasing the success rate of IVF. Our microfluidic embryo lab chip takes advantage of passive trapping for embryo manipulation and dynamic perfusion for co-cultivation. The embryos were gently captured one by one by the passive trapping system to the groove. The medium in the liquid-pushing channels pushed the captured embryos to the G-shape co-culture chambers. The embryo manipulation was designed to push the 2-cell embryo and the mature embryo forwards and backward in/out of the co-culture chamber on desire. The perfused channels provided the thrust for the embryo manipulation and the dynamic perfusion through the holes on the middle-layer porous PDMS membrane. The embryos were co-cultured with stromal cells to provide the biomimetic microenvironment for embryo growth/development. We observed at least a several-hours faster growth/development rate of embryos for on-chip culture than the traditional droplet culture method. The blastocyst development rate of our on-chip embryo co-culture group increased by 16.1% than that of the off-chip co-culture group on E3.5. The mid-blastocyst embryos in our on-chip co-culture group were transplanted back into the uterus of the female mouse for confirmation of our chip development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130820
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
StatePublished - 15 12 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Co-culture
  • Dynamic perfusion
  • Embryo chip
  • In-vitro fertilization
  • Passive trapping


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