Surface-Directed Assembly of Cell-Laden Microgels microgels

Abstract

Cell-laden microscale hydrogels (microgels) can be used as tissue building blocks and assembled to create 3D tissue constructs with well-defined microarchitecture. In this article, we present a bottom-up approach to achieve microgel assembly on a patterned surface. Driven by surface tension, the hydrophilic microgels can be assembled into well-defined shapes on a glass surface patterned with hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions. We found that the cuboidic microgels (100–200 mm in width) could selfassemble into defined shapes with high fidelity to the surface patterns. The microgel assembly process was improved by increasing the hydrophilicity of the microgels and reducing the surface tension of the surrounding solution. The assembled microgels were stabilized by a secondary crosslinking step. Assembled microgels containing cells stained with different dyes were fabricated to demonstrate the application of this approach for engineering microscale tissue constructs containing multiple cell types. This bottom- up approach enables rapid fabrication of cell-laden microgel assemblies with pre-defined geometrical and biological features, which is easily scalable and can be potentially used in microscale tissue engineering applications.

Link

Surface-Directed Assembly of Cell-Laden Microgels microgels