Microfluidics as a new tool in radiation biology

Jerome Lacombe, Shanna Leslie Phillips, Frederic Zenhausern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Ionizing radiations interact with molecules at the cellular and molecular levels leading to several biochemical modifications that may be responsible for biological effects on tissue or whole organisms. The study of these changes is difficult because of the complexity of the biological response(s) to radiations and the lack of reliable models able to mimic the whole molecular phenomenon and different communications between the various cell networks, from the cell activation to the macroscopic effect at the tissue or organismal level. Microfluidics, the science and technology of systems that can handle small amounts of fluids in confined and controlled environment, has been an emerging field for several years. Some microfluidic devices, even at early stages of development, may already help radiobiological research by proposing new approaches to study cellular, tissue and total-body behavior upon irradiation. These devices may also be used in clinical biodosimetry since microfluidic technology is frequently developed for integrating complex bioassay chemistries into automated user-friendly, reproducible and sensitive analyses. In this review, we discuss the use, numerous advantages, and possible future of microfluidic technology in the field of radiobiology. We will also examine the disadvantages and required improvements for microfluidics to be fully practical in radiation research and to become an enabling tool for radiobiologists and radiation oncologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2016


  • Biodosimetry markers
  • Cancer
  • Microfluidics
  • Organ-on-a-chip
  • Radiation research
  • Radiobiological models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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