Microbioreactors for raman microscopy of stromal cell differentiation

Vardhan Pully Vishnu, Aufried Lenferink, Henk Jan Van Manen, Vinod Subramaniam, Clemens A. Van Blitterswijk, Cees Otto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We present the development of microbioreactors with a sensitive and accurate optical coupling to a confocal Raman microspectrometer. We show that such devices enable in situ and in vitro investigation of cell cultures for tissue engineering by chemically sensitive Raman spectroscopic imaging techniques. The optical resolution of the Raman microspectrometer allows recognition and chemical analysis of subcellular features. Human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) have been followed after seeding through a phase of early proliferation until typically 21 days later, well after the cells have differentiated to osteoblasts. Long-term perfusion of cells in the dynamic culture conditions was shown to be compatible with experimental optical demands and off-line optical analysis. We show that Raman optical analysis of cells and cellular differentiation in microbioreactors is feasible down to the level of subcellular organelles during development. We conclude that microbioreactors combined with Raman microspectroscopy are a valuable tool to study hBMSC proliferation, differentiation, and development into tissues under in situ and in vitro conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1844-1850
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


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