What is the impact of microfluidics on microvascular research?

“Microdevices are now capable of 3D co-culture with either patterned or naturally-grown microvascular networks.  These systems open the door for the development of in vitro models of numerous perfused organs, devices that can then be used to model disease or for moderate throughput drug or toxicity screens.” – Roger Kamm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“One area of microvascular research that microfluidics has already made significant contributions is increasing our understanding of the influence of fluid flow on vascular function.  For instance, much of what is known about the role of hemodynamic forces on endothelial cell function is derived from in vitro, macroscale flow chambers that mimic in vivo flow conditions.  Microfluidic systems also enable controlled flow conditions while also providing the correct vessel/extracellular matrix (ECM) geometry necessary for studying vascular morphogenesis, ECM remodeling, and imparting simultaneous intravascular and transvascular flow.” – Jonathan Song, Ohio State University
"Microfluidic studies have greatly benefitted from the study of the microcirculation, for example in methods for blood cell isolation through narrow channels. In turn the study of the microcirculation has benefitted by studies in microchannels, in which precise flow conditions are generated and delicate details of cell interactions can be studied under precisely controlled conditions.” – Geert Schmid-Schönbein, University of California – San Diego

“Microfluidics has affected microvascular research by opening up a gateway to new tools that are not only versatile, but enable us to answer long standing questions regarding cell-cell communication by allowing us to grow and perfuse different groups of cells (e.g. endothelial cells, mural cells, etc.) under very defined conditions.” – Joshua Scallan, University of South Florida

“Recent advancements in microfluidic technologies, including ‘organ-on-a-chip’, have tremendous potential in studying microvascular network structure and function, and will be a useful platform for drug development studies in microvascular research.”  – Mariappan Muthuchamy, Texas A&M Health Science Center
“An altered spatial heterogeneity and temporal stability of network perfusion is associated with reduced microvascular blood flow and tissue oxygenation that signal the onset and progression of microvascular pathophysiology.  Computational and experimental studies of blood flow in the microcirculation using the precise manipulation of fluids with microfluidic devices provides a unique opportunity through which to enhance our understanding of the haemodynamics underlying microvascular physiology and pathophysiology.” – Geraldine Clough, University of Southampton
"Microfluidic studies provide a highly useful complement to in vivo studies of blood cell-microvessel interactions by enabling high-resolution/high-throughput analyses of these interactions under carefully controlled hemodynamic conditions.” – Rolando Rumbaut, Baylor College of Medicine