The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
What the facility does

Microfluidics; microfabrication; Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), BioMEMS, device characterization, cell culture, tissue engineering, microscopy.

Areas of expertise

The Bio-Medical Micro Devices (BioMEMS) facility has extensive experience in microfabrication, microfluidics, and biomedical micro-devices (BioMEMS). One major focus of our research is the development of microfluidic systems for three-dimensional cell culture and drug screening. This research will help us understand how cancer spreads and could provide a new method for determining the most effective drug treatment for individual patients by collecting biopsies. We culture small numbers of cancer cells and monitor the effect of drugs and drug combinations, as well as changes in the cell environment, on those cells. This work involves cell entrapment and three-dimensional cell culture in hydrogels formed in situ within microfluidic devices. We are creating physiological drug profiles to better model the tumor environment, and we are integrating oxygen sensors to monitor the effects of hypoxia and drug resistance. Other current research projects include the development of implantable, biocompatible microelectrodes for neural prosthetics; nanofiber scaffolds for neural regeneration; and tissue engineering through inkjet printing of living cells and tissue scaffold materials.

Research services
  • Cell culture
  • Soft lithography
  • Fabrication of microfluidic devices
  • Microscopy
  • Inkjet printing of cells
Sectors of application
  • Healthcare and social services
Microfabrication – soft lithographyPDMS molding; bonding of microfluidic devices; assembly; testing
IncubatorCulture mammalian cells in aseptic conditions
Biosafety cabinetCulture mammalian cells in aseptic conditions
Sample preparationPreparation of reagents; buffers; culture media
Confocal/Epifluorescence MicroscopeImaging
  • BC Cancer Research