A microfluidic optical platform for real-time monitoring of pH and oxygen in microfluidic bioreactors and organ-on-chip devices

Seyed Ali Mousavi Shaegh, Fabio De Ferrari, Yu Shrike Zhang, Mahboubeh Nabavinia, Niema Binth Mohammad, John Ryan, Adel Pourmand, Eleanor Laukaitis, Ramin Banan Sadeghian, Akhtar Nadhman, Su Ryon Shin, Amir Sanati Nezhad, Ali Khademhosseini, Mehmet Remzi Dokmeci

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    There is a growing interest to develop microfluidic bioreactors and organ-on-chipplatforms with integrated sensors to monitor their physicochemical properties and tomaintain a well-controlled microenvironment for cultured organoids. Conventionalsensing devices cannot be easily integrated with microfluidic organ-on-chip systemswith low-volume bioreactors for continual monitoring. This paper reports on thedevelopment of a multi-analyte optical sensing module for dynamic measurementsof pH and dissolved oxygen levels in the culture medium. The sensing system wasconstructed using low-cost electro-optics including light-emitting diodes and siliconphotodiodes. The sensing module includes an optically transparent window formeasuring light intensity, and the module could be connected directly to a perfusionbioreactor without any specific modifications to the microfluidic device design. Acompact, user-friendly, and low-cost electronic interface was developed to controlthe optical transducer and signal acquisition from photodiodes. The platformenabled convenient integration of the optical sensing module with a microfluidicbioreactor. Human dermal fibroblasts were cultivated in the bioreactor, and thevalues of pH and dissolved oxygen levels in the flowing culture medium were measuredcontinuously for up to 3 days. Our integrated microfluidic system providesa new analytical platform with ease of fabrication and operation, which can beadapted for applications in various microfluidic cell culture and organ-on-chipdevices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number044111
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
    • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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