Recapitulation of In Vivo-Like Microenvironments for Neutrophil Transendothelial Migration
Neutrophil transendothelial migration (TEM) is an essential physiological process that regulates the recruitment of neutrophils in response to inflammatory signals. A versatile hydrogel scaffold is embedded in a microfluidic platform that supports a three-dimensional (3D) endothelial cell layer and highly stable chemical gradients; this construct is employed to mimic the in vivo neutrophil TEM process. These researchers have found that the number of neutrophils migrating across the endothelial cell layer is dependent on the presented chemoattractant concentration and the spatial profile of the chemical gradient. Furthermore, the microfluidic device also supports competing chemoattractant gradients to facilitate neutrophil TEM studies in complex microenvironments that more accurately model the in vivo system than simplified microenvironments without endothelial cells. This work demonstrates that combinations of any two different chemoattractants induce more significant neutrophil migration than a single chemoattractant in the same total amount, indicating synergistic effects between distinct chemoattractants. The researchers used COMSOL software to simulate the diffusion behaviors of chemical gradients in the microfluidic devices. The simulation results from COMSOL can be used to predict the profiles of chemoattractant gradients in the devices.
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