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Polylactic is a Sustainable, Low Absorption, Low Autofluorescence Alternative to Other Plastics for Microfluidic and Organ-on-Chip Applications

  • Autori: Ongaro A.E.; Di Giuseppe D.; Kermanizadeh A.; Miguelez Crespo A.; Mencattini A.; Ghibelli L.; Mancini V.; Wlodarczyk K.L.; Hand D.P.; Martinelli E.; Stone V.; Howarth N.; La Carrubba V.; Pensabene V.; Kersaudy-Kerhoas M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Organ-on-chip (OOC) devices are miniaturized devices replacing animal models in drug discovery and toxicology studies. The majority of OOC devices are made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), an elastomer widely used in microfluidic prototyping, but posing a number of challenges to experimentalists, including leaching of uncured oligomers and uncontrolled absorption of small compounds. Here we assess the suitability of polylactic acid (PLA) as a replacement material to PDMS for microfluidic cell culture and OOC applications. We changed the wettability of PLA substrates and demonstrated the functionalization method to be stable over a time period of at least 9 months. We successfully cultured human cells on PLA substrates and devices, without coating. We demonstrated that PLA does not absorb small molecules, is transparent (92% transparency), and has low autofluorescence. As a proof of concept of its manufacturability, biocompatibility, and transparency, we performed a cell tracking experiment of prostate cancer cells in a PLA device for advanced cell culture.