Sometimes there’s no substitute for a demo. In experimental work, techniques are commonly passed on from person to person. (I somehow ended up pipetting left-handed for years because of the single time my left-handed advisor showed me how to do it.) But what if you want to try a protocol that’s new to your lab? While it’s possible to follow the methods section of a paper to reproduce a result (and people do it all the time), it can be challenging. In both microfabrication and biology, specialized techniques can border on black magic and often go undocumented, although some are trying to change this (e.g. the excellent Chips & Tips feature of Lab on a Chip).
Enter the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), a peer-reviewed, Pubmed-indexed video journal publishing biological research. While there are many online microfluidics videos, they tend to display results, not methods. JoVE is different because its main purpose is to demonstrate how protocols are performed. Since JoVE began publishing in 2006, a number of high-profile labs have appeared in the journal, including stem cell researchers from Kevin Eggan’s lab and George Daley’s lab (see the beautiful trituration technique!), as well as microfluidics work from several groups. Most of the videos are viewable to subscribers only, although a 1-day free trial is available. Explore over 25 videos related tomicrofluidics/bioengineering, including:
Platelet Adhesion and Aggregation Under Flow using Microfluidic Flow Cells (2009) by Fluxion Biosciences
A Multi-compartment CNS Neuron-glia Co-culture Microfluidic Platform (2009)
Interview with Catherine Klapperich (2008) on disposable diagnostics
How to pattern embryonic stem cells using the BioFlipChip (2007) by Nikhil Mittal and Stephanie Flavin of the Voldman lab
I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts on JoVE and other forms of scientific video communication. Check it out!