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iPod Touch Kima Pump for Toxicology Studies

The Kima Pump is a simple to use, iPod Touch controlled microfluidic pump for life science applications including: aiding cell culture (e.g. endothelial cells) under flow conditions in biochips and toxicology studies as the movie below shows.

This article talks about the application of endothelial cell culture in Cellix's Vena8 Endothelial+ biochips followed by flowing a potential drug compound over the cultured endothelial cells for a period of time in order to investigate the effects of the compound on the cells. The Kima pump is controlled by the iKima Application for use with the iPod Touch and iPhone. The Kima pump is placed inside a standard incubator while the iPod Touch or iPhone, as it's controller, sits on the Universal dock outside the incubator. The Kima pump connects easily to Cellix's Vena8 Endothelial+ biochip and other manufacturer's flow chambers via fully autoclaveable tubing and delivers pulses of fresh media/solution to cells seeded inside the microchannels. The iKima App is available for download from Apple's iTunes Store.

The Cellix Vena8 Endothelial+ biochips are robust, simple and easy to use and simulate human capillaries. Some details on the biochip are :

  • Biochip dimensions: 800μm (width) x 120μm (depth) x 20mm (length)

  • Number of channels per biochip : 8

  • Substrate thickness : 0.17mm (same as standard coverslips for microscopy)

Microchannels are coated with adhesion molecules (e.g. laminin) to promote seeding and culturing of endothelial cells.

HUVEC Primary cells seeded after 90 minutes in the incubator

Endothelial cells are easily seeded in the microchannels with a standard pipette. The biochip is then placed in the incubator where the endothelial cells attach firmly to adhesion molecule on the surface of the microchannel.

The biochip is then connected to the Kima Pump enabling circulation of media aiding cell culture. The Kima Pump is easily controlled by the iKima App via iPod Touch/iPhone. The Kima Pump facilitates constant flow of the media (~250-600µL/min across all 8 channels; ~30-75µL/min in each of the 8 channels) or pulses of the media through the microchannels of Cellix's biochip or conventional flow chambers.

Toxicology studies

  • The culture media bottle in the Kima Pump is replaced with a bottle containing a drug compound

  • The drug compound flows through the microchannels of the biochip using the Kima Pump

  • Long term toxicology experiments may be performed with the Kima Pump; for example up to 72 hours, or longer.

  • The bottle containing the drug compound is then replaced with a solution containing Calcein-AM and EthD-1

  • Again using the Kima pump, this solution flows through the microchannels of the biochip staining the cells live and dead.

Live cells are stained with Calcein-AM (green) while the dead cells are stained with EthD-1 (red)

Kima Pump is also compatible with flow chambers (connectors required, contact Cellix for more information and advice).

So now you know the use of Kima Pump in Toxicology Studies and how it is beneficial.

But, if you still have questions or want to learn more, check out our website, at, or contact us at

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