A Portable Microscale Cell Culture System with Indirect Temperature Control

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A physiologically relevant environment is essential for successful long-term cell culturing in vitro. Precise control of temperature, one of the most crucial environmental parameters in cell cultures, increases the fidelity and repeatability of the experiments. Unfortunately, direct temperature measurement can interfere with the cultures or prevent imaging of the cells. Furthermore, the assessment of dynamic temperature variations in the cell culture area is challenging with the methods traditionally used for measuring temperature in cell culture systems. To overcome these challenges, we integrated a microscale cell culture environment together with live-cell imaging and a precise local temperature control that is based on an indirect measurement. The control method uses a remote temperature measurement and a mathematical model for estimating temperature at the desired area. The system maintained the temperature at 37±0.3 °C for more than 4 days. We also showed that the system precisely controls the culture temperature during temperature transients and compensates for the disturbance when changing the cell cultivation medium, and presented the portability of the heating system. Finally, we demonstrated a successful long-term culturing of human induced stem cell–derived beating cardiomyocytes, and analyzed their beating rates at different temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-579
JournalSLAS Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • cell culture
  • feedback control
  • microfluidics
  • modeling
  • temperature

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  • Publication forum level 1


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