Microfluidic devices (microchannels) have been fabricated and tested for embryo culture. Three different microfabrication materials (silicon, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and borosilicate) were used to fabricate the microchannels. The objective of this study was to determine if static microchannels permitted culture of mouse embryos to the blastocyst stage. Groups of 10 two-cell ICR X B6SJL/F1 mouse embryos were cultured for 96 hours in 4 different physical culture systems: 1) silicon/borosilicate microchannels, 2) PDMS/borosilicate microchannels, and 3) standard microdrops. Embryos cultured in the silicon/borosilicate and PDMS/borosilicate microchannels exhibited a faster rate of cleavage (P < 0.05), and produced more blastocysts (P < 0.01) than control microdrops. Furthermore, microchannels had a lower percentage of degenerated embryos than control embryos (P < 0.01). The results suggest that the microchannel culture systems may provide a culture environment that more closely mimics the in vivo environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering