ibidi Pump system

ibidi Pump system


A pump system for the cultivation of cells under flow for simulation of blood vessels.

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ibidi Pump system

  • Ideal simulation of various physiological conditions - continuous unidirectional, oscillating, and pulsatile flow
  • Compatible with the ibidi Heating systems, all incubators, and incubated microscopes
  • Minimal mechanical stress, minimal amount of medium and supplement needed
ibidi Pump Fluidic unit PumpControl Optional:
Fluidic unit quad


  • Defined shear stress in long-term cell culture (e.g., endothelium, kidney, or biofilm)
  • Live cell imaging and immunofluorescence for analyzing shear stress response
  • Mimicking shear stress conditions in microcapillary, venous, and arterial flow
  • Rolling and adhesion of suspended cells on substrates
  • Stop flow experiments
  • 3D cell culture: interstitial flow

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

Fluidic unit

  • A holder for one Perfusion set (10 ml) and connected μ-Slide(s)
  • For placement in an incubator
  • Optional: Reservoir holder for 2 ml and 50 ml Perfusion sets

Fluidic unit quad

  • Combines four Fluidic units into one system
  • Operated by a single ibidi Pump

Perfusion set

  • Includes tubing, adapters, and reservoirs to perform flow assays
  • Designed for various flow rates and volumes

Heating insert adapter for perfusion assay

  • Adapter for the ibidi Heating system
  • For long-term cell studies (several days) under flow conditions

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
  • Flow rate using ibidi µ-Slides: 0,1 – 40 ml/min
  • Shear stress using ibidi µ-Slides: 0,2 – 80 dyn s/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

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) and the Fluidic Unit (holder for cell media reservoirs and μ-Slide, tubing, and electrically controlled valve set). By using this “split” approach, the closed flow setup can be assembled separately and transferred to the microscope or the incubator after cell cultivation, 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. The system is a fully integrated solution.

By hosting the Fluidic Unit in the incubator, it is still possible to run perfusion assays directly on the microscope. A defined temperature and CO2 concentration is assured, as the fluidic reservoirs are inside the incubator at all times.

Principle of flow generation

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

In state 1, the pressured air is guided to reservoir A while reservoir B is connected to the ambient air pressure. In state 2, it is the other way around. Switching between these states creates a flow of medium between the reservoirs and ensures that they do not run dry. However, to generate a unidirectional flow, a fluidic rectifier is placed between the reservoirs and the μ-Slide. The rectifier is a pinch valve V2 that clamps off two branches of the Perfusion Set while the others are kept open. The synchronous switching of both valves creates a continuous and unidirectional flow without wasting any medium.

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)


Changes in cell-cell contacts of endothelial cells (HUVEC) under long term shear stress conditions

Anita Reiser1, Helga Wagner2, Armin Bieser2, Ben Fabry1, Roman Zantl2

1 Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Biophysics Group, Henkestr. 91, 91052 Erlangen, Germany
2 ibidi GmbH, Am Klopferspitz 19, 82152 Martinsried, Germany

Defining the Critical Shear Stress Range in Long Term HUVEC Cell Culture

Christina Fey1, Anita Reiser2, Helga Wagner3, Armin Bieser3, Roman Zantl3

1 Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm;
2 Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg;
3 ibidi GmbH, Martinsried