Saturday, 18 May 2024

TS.I.E.5

Microfluidic extrusion of cell-laden hydrogel fibers for 3D-Bioprinting

Cristina COLOSI, CLNS-IIT

3D Bio-Printing is an emerging technology in bioengineering that arises from the intersection between 3D-printing and cell encapsulation techniques, which field of application crosses in vitro tissue modeling, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. The aim of this technology is to develop artificial 3D living tissues using computer-numerical-control (CNC) machines to freely design the internal organization of the cellular and extra-cellular matrix components (ECM), the so called bio-ink, in printed three-dimensional bioconstructs. The development of new biocompatible 3D deposition strategies and composition of bio-inks animate the actual research in the field. Here we present a novel extruding method based on the microfluidic wet-spinning of cell-laden hydrogel fibers. The use of microfluidic platforms coupled with a fiber extrusion system offers the possibility to finely control the composition and disposition of different bioinks during the deposition process, allowing for the creation of heterogeneous constructs using a single printhead. The microfluidic platforms can be used to vary on-the-fly the density of cell seeding during the printing process, as well as the composition of the embedding ECM. The laminar flow inside the micro-channels can also be used for the production of heterogeneous fibers containing different types of cells, disposed in pre-determined patterns, allowing for the creation of complex and highly reproducible co-culture models.

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