Microfluidics is a young but established field that holds significant potential for scientific discovery. The utility of microfluidics can improve our knowledge of basic biology as well as expand our understanding in specialized areas such as assisted reproduction and stem cell developmental biology. This review describes the technology of microfluidics and discusses applications within assisted reproduction technology and embryonic stem cell growth and directed differentiation. Development of an integrated microfluidic platform for assisted reproduction, which can manipulate gametes, embryos, embryonic stem cells, their culture environment, and incorporate biomarker analysis, could have a dramatic impact on the basic understanding of embryo/embryonic stem cell development, as well as provide significant improvements in current technologies used to treat infertility, preserve fertility, and derive therapeutic cells from stem cells.
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