Chemical control of Vorticella bioactuator using microfluidics

Moeto Nagai, Sangjin Ryu, Todd Thorsen, Paul Matsudaira, Hiroyuki Fujita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In this report, we demonstrate a microfluidic platform to control the stalk contraction and extension of Vorticella convallaria by changing concentration of Ca2+ with pneumatically-actuated elastomeric microvalves. Habitation, extraction and control of V. convallaria were carried out in a PDMS-based microfluidic device. By treating the cells with the permeant saponin, external actuation of cell-anchoring stalk between an extended and contracted state was achieved by cyclic exposure of the cells to a Ca2+ buffer (10-6 M) and a rinse buffer containing EGTA as a chelation agent. When solutions were switched, the stalk contracted and extended responding to the ambient Ca2+ concentration change. The length of the stalk changed between 20 and 60 μm, resulting in a working distance of about 40 μm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1574-1578
Number of pages5
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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