Small molecule absorption by PDMS in the context of drug response bioassays

B.J. van Meer, H. de Vries, K.S.A. Firth, J. van Weerd, L.G.J. Tertoolen, H.B.J. Karperien, Pascal Jonkheijm, C. Denning, A.P. IJzerman, C.L. Mummery

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The polymer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is widely used to build microfluidic devices compatible with cell culture. Whilst convenient in manufacture, PDMS has the disadvantage that it can absorb small molecules such as drugs. In microfluidic devices like "Organs-on-Chip", designed to examine cell behavior and test the effects of drugs, this might impact drug bioavailability. Here we developed an assay to compare the absorption of a test set of four cardiac drugs by PDMS based on measuring the residual non-absorbed compound by High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). We showed that absorption was variable and time dependent and not determined exclusively by hydrophobicity as claimed previously. We demonstrated that two commercially available lipophilic coatings and the presence of cells affected absorption. The use of lipophilic coatings may be useful in preventing small molecule absorption by PDMS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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