To fully exploit the potential of hydrogel micro-fibers in the design of regenerative medicinal materials, we designed a simple, easy to replicate system for cell embedding in degradable fibrous scaffolds, and validated its effectiveness using alginate-based materials. For scaffold fabrication, cells are suspended in a hydrogel-precursor and injected in a closed-loop circuit, where a pump circulates the ionic cross-linking solution. The flow of the cross-linking solution stretches and solidifies a continuous micro-scaled, cell-loaded hydrogel fiber that whips, bends, and spontaneously assembles in a self-standing, spaghetti-like patch. After investigation and tuning of process- and solution-related parameters, homogeneous microfibers with controlled diameters and consistent scaffolds were obtained from different alginate concentrations and blends with biologically favorable macromolecules (i.e., gelatin or hyaluronic acid). Despite its simplicity, this coaxial-flow encapsulation system allows for the rapid and effortless fabrication of thick, well-defined scaffolds, with viable cells being homogeneously distributed within the fibers. The reduced fiber diameter and the inherent macro-porous structure that is created from the random winding of fibers can sustain mass transport, and support encapsulated cell survival. As different materials and formulations can be processed to easily create homogeneously cell-populated structures, this system appears as a valuable platform, not only for regenerative medicine, but also, more in general, for 3D cell culturing in vitro.

3D Encapsulation Made Easy: A Coaxial-Flow Circuit for the Fabrication of Hydrogel Microfibers Patches

Campiglio, Chiara Emma;Draghi, Lorenza
2019

Abstract

To fully exploit the potential of hydrogel micro-fibers in the design of regenerative medicinal materials, we designed a simple, easy to replicate system for cell embedding in degradable fibrous scaffolds, and validated its effectiveness using alginate-based materials. For scaffold fabrication, cells are suspended in a hydrogel-precursor and injected in a closed-loop circuit, where a pump circulates the ionic cross-linking solution. The flow of the cross-linking solution stretches and solidifies a continuous micro-scaled, cell-loaded hydrogel fiber that whips, bends, and spontaneously assembles in a self-standing, spaghetti-like patch. After investigation and tuning of process- and solution-related parameters, homogeneous microfibers with controlled diameters and consistent scaffolds were obtained from different alginate concentrations and blends with biologically favorable macromolecules (i.e., gelatin or hyaluronic acid). Despite its simplicity, this coaxial-flow encapsulation system allows for the rapid and effortless fabrication of thick, well-defined scaffolds, with viable cells being homogeneously distributed within the fibers. The reduced fiber diameter and the inherent macro-porous structure that is created from the random winding of fibers can sustain mass transport, and support encapsulated cell survival. As different materials and formulations can be processed to easily create homogeneously cell-populated structures, this system appears as a valuable platform, not only for regenerative medicine, but also, more in general, for 3D cell culturing in vitro.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1086985
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