System includes:

ibidi Pump
Notebook with PumpControl software
Fluidic Unit Quad
Perfusion Sets


Find Out More

Please find more detailed information about the planning, conduction, and data analysis of cell culture under flow assays here.

Download the whole “Cell Culture Under Flow” Application Guide as a PDF here.

Components of the ibidi Pump System

ibidi Pump

  • Computer-controlled air pressure pump
  • Operates up to four parallel Fluidic Units per ibidi Pump

PumpControl Software

  • Easy setup of an automated flow control for flow assays
  • Internal calculation for flow rates, shear rates, and shear stress

Perfusion Set

  • Includes tubing and reservoirs to perform flow assays in combination with the Fluidic Unit
  • Designed for various flow rates and volumes (see table below)

Fluidic Unit

  • Flow-switching device with electrically controlled valves
  • Equipped with a holder for one Perfusion Set (10 ml) and connected µ-Slide(s)
  • For operation in the cell culture incubator
  • Optional: Reservoir Holder for 2 ml and 50 ml Perfusion Sets

Optional: Fluidic Unit Quad

  • Combines four Fluidic Units into one system
  • Operated by a single ibidi Pump
  • Please note: the 4 Fluidic Units of the ibidi Pump System Quad are firmly screwed. In case you want to use the Fluidic Units separately, we recommend to order 4 single Fluidic Units.

Optional: Heating Insert Adapter for Perfusion Assay

Technical Features:

  • Operates up to four parallel Fluidic Units per ibidi Pump
  • Flow characteristics: all flow types are laminar
  • Some examples:
    • Unidirectional flow simulates veins or small arteries
    • Oscillating flow simulates disturbed conditions at vessel branchings or valves
    • Pulsatile flow simulates arterial conditions
  • Wide range of flow rates (ca. 0.1–40 ml/min*) and shear stress (ca. 0.2–150 dyn/cm2*)
  • Working volume: 2.5 ml / 12 ml / 50 ml
  • Suitable for all µ-Slides with Luer adapters
  • Also suitable for home-made flow chambers
  • Compatible with all incubators
  • Software-controlled flow rates and shear stress

Depending on the Perfusion Set and channel used.

System Overview:

The ibidi Perfusion System Perfectly Reflects the Natural Environment of Cells Under Flow Conditions

The ibidi Pump System consists of two main components: The ibidi Pump (computer controlled air pump, placed outside the incubator) and the Fluidic Unit (holder for cell media reservoirs and µ-Slide, tubing, and electrically controlled valve set, placed inside the incubator). By using this “split” approach, the closed circulation of the medium can be assembled separately in the laminar flow hood and transferred to the microscope or the incubator, without compromising the sterility of the system. The open architecture using the Luer connectors allows the use of any kind of flow devices. The PumpControl software controls the pressure, and subsequently the shear stress acting on the cells, and provides the possibility to program complex flow patterns.

Placing the Fluidic Unit inside a large-size microscope incubator allows for running long-term perfusion assays directly on the microscope. A defined temperature and CO2 concentration is assured over the whole perfusion, which is necessary for avoiding air bubbles. For short-term experiments, the usage of a small incubator, hosting the Fluidic Unit, next to the microscope is sufficient.

Principle of Unidirectional Flow

Applying pressured air to the reservoirs of the Fluidic Unit moves the medium and generates the flow in the µ-Slide channels. In order to avoid wasting any medium, the liquid is pumped back and forth between reservoir A and reservoir B by switching the valve V1.

To assure a unidirectional flow in the channel, the other valve V2 is switched simultaneously. As the tubing parts inserted in the valve V2 are criss-crossed, the medium is always directed to the same end of the channel slide.

Example of a Perfusion Set-up on a Microscope

Ideal Setup inside a large-size microscope incubator. In combination with the ibidi Heating & Incubation System for short-term experiments.

The ibidi Pump System Generates Minimal Mechanical Stress

Application Examples:

rAV CMV-LifeAct-TagRFP-transduced HUVEC, cultivated under 20 dyn / cm² in µ-Slide I 0.4 Luer

HUVEC, cultivated over 7 days at 10 dyn / cm². VE-cadherins are stained in green, cell nuclei are stained in blue.

Rolling and adhesion of polymorpho-
nuclear leukocytes on LPS-stimu-
lated cerebrovascular endothelial cells in µ-Slide VI 0.4 at 1 dyn / cm².
(Courtesy of G. Cepinskas, Ontario)

Suitable µ-Slides

The following ibidi µ-Slides can be attached to the ibidi Pump System:

Custom specific slides can also be used when utilizing the Luer adapters.


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