Simulating Fluid Flow through a Culture Chip for Cell Migration Studies in Microgravity

A. Dhall [1], T. Masiello [1], L. Butt [1], M. Strohmayer [1], M. Hemachandra [1], N. Tokranova [1], J. Castracane [1],
[1] Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Albany, NY, USA
Published in 2016

Exposure to microgravity is known to alter genomic and proteomic expression and suppress immune cell activity. These changes may influence cancer development. Studying cancer cells in this environment, may help uncover novel therapeutic targets. SUNY Polytechnic Institute and SpacePharma, Inc. have teamed up to study the effect of microgravity on cancer cell migration. This will be achieved using a device to conduct cell-based experiments both in on-ground simulators and in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). To optimize operational flow parameters and design, fluid flow simulations were run using the CFD Module of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. The Single-Phase Flow interface was used to simulate flow of growth media and the Transport of Diluted Species (tds) interface was used to simulate diffusion of a chemoattractant.