Droplet-based microfluidic system to form and separate multicellular spheroids using magnetic nanoparticles

Sungjun Yoon, Jeong Ah Kim, Seung Hwan Lee, Minsoo Kim, Tai Hyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The importance of creating a three-dimensional (3-D) multicellular spheroid has recently been gaining attention due to the limitations of monolayer cell culture to precisely mimic in vivo structure and cellular interactions. Due to this emerging interest, researchers have utilized new tools, such as microfluidic devices, that allow high-throughput and precise size control to produce multicellular spheroids. We have developed a droplet-based microfluidic system that can encapsulate both cells and magnetic nanoparticles within alginate beads to mimic the function of a multicellular tumor spheroid. Cells were entrapped within the alginate beads along with magnetic nanoparticles, and the beads of a relatively uniform size (diameters of 85% of the beads were 170-190 μm) were formed in the oil phase. These beads were passed through parallel streamlines of oil and culture medium, where the beads were magnetically transferred into the medium phase from the oil phase using an external magnetic force. This microfluidic chip eliminates additional steps for collecting the spheroids from the oil phase and transferring them to culture medium. Ultimately, the overall spheroid formation process can be achieved on a single microchip.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1522-1528
Number of pages7
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Droplet-based microfluidic system to form and separate multicellular spheroids using magnetic nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this