Observing microscopic specimens is often useful in studies of cellular interaction with a vascular wall. We have developed an in vitro side-view flow chamber that permits observations from the side of the cell's contact with various adhesive surfaces under dynamic flow conditions. This side-view flow chamber consists of two precision rectangular glass tubes called microslides. A smaller microslide is inserted into a larger one to create a flow channel with a flat surface on which either cultured vascular endothelium can be grown or purified adhesion molecules can be coated. Two optical prisms with a 45° chromium-coated surface are used along the flow channel to generate light illumination and observation pathways. The side-view images of cell-substrate contact can be obtained using a light microscope. This design allows us not only to measure the effects of flow on cell-surface adhesion strength, but also to have close observation of cell deformation and adhesive contact to various surfaces in shear flow. In addition, this chamber can readily serve for a conventional top-view flow channel, similar to the parallel-plate flow chambers used in many areas. The development of such a side-view flow chamber can be beneficial to various in vitro applications in cellular studies that require an edge view, especially for various cell interactions with cultured vascular endothelium or surfaces containing single-type adhesive molecules under flow conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering