Xona Microfluidics® introduces a new open Silicone (PDMS) Device to its catalog. This new neuron culture device and microfluidic chamber is called the Innsbruck device because of the origins of its design.

The Innsbruck device (sku: IND500) is a 3-compartment neuron culture device which includes an enclosed center compartment approximately 500 microns in width. Two (2) sets of 500 micron wide microgroove barriers flank the microfluidic channel and connect to two (2) open outer compartments that are approximately 5 x 11 mm each. The entire microfluidic chamber has a footprint of 18 by 28 mm and fits well on a 24 x 50 mm coverslip. The figure at the end of this page is an immunofluorescence micrograph of rat cortical neurons grown within the Innsbruck device.

Open compartment Silicone (PDMS) Devices provide advantages. One advantage is for co-culturing with organoid or organotypic slices which can be hundreds of microns in thickness, thicker than the depth of enclosed microfluidic channels. Also, precise positioning of precious cells is easier using open compartment devices and cells can be positioned in a specific spot near the microgroove barrier.

Some customers have expressed interest in being able to directly access neurons within the open compartment, for example, for directly patching onto neurons to record membrane potentials and neuronal activity. For this purpose, Xona is able to produce thinner open compartment devices, approximately half the thickness of our standard thickness devices. If you are interested in ordering thinner devices, please contact us at info@xona.us

Enclosed microfluidic channels do still have advantages. These advantages include imaging, and reducing media and reagent usage.  Because microfluidic channels are molded in the PDMS, crisp compartment boundaries are generated with minimal shadowing. On the other hand open compartments require punching throughout the PDMS and can cause shadowing in brightfield images. Microfluidic channels also allow smaller volumes of media and reagents to be used over open compartments. 

The Innsbruck device is the latest addition of open compartment neuron culture devices to Xona’s product catalog. Xona also sells the single open compartment device (SOC450) and the double open compartment device (DOC450). Both the SOC450 and DOC450 are 2-compartment microfluidic chambers that are increasingly popular with our customers. 


Xona Microfluidics is a US-based company that sells compartmentalized microfluidic chambers for culturing neurons and creating co-culture and innervation models in vitro. In addition to providing neuron culture devices, Xona also provides contract research services using our microfluidic platforms to develop scalable neuron-based assays. Our patented compartmentalized chip technology directs the growth of axons from a somatodendritic compartment to an isolated axonal compartment allowing distinct microenvironments within each compartment to be established. Xona sells compartmentalized microfluidic chambers in two formats: Preassembled XonaChips® and original Silicone (PDMS) Devices. Over 1,000 publications cite our compartmentalized microfluidic devices and chips. Many of these publications can be found on our publications page.


To learn more about products and research services provided by Xona, please contact us at info@xona.us.

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Rat cortical neurons grown in the Innsbruck Device (7 DIV)

Rat cortical neurons grown in the Innsbruck Device (7 DIV).

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