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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Feb 21;103(8):2480-7. Epub 2006 Feb 13.

Microscale technologies for tissue engineering and biology.

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Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Microscale technologies are emerging as powerful tools for tissue engineering and biological studies. In this review, we present an overview of these technologies in various tissue engineering applications, such as for fabricating 3D microfabricated scaffolds, as templates for cell aggregate formation, or for fabricating materials in a spatially regulated manner. In addition, we give examples of the use of microscale technologies for controlling the cellular microenvironment in vitro and for performing high-throughput assays. The use of microfluidics, surface patterning, and patterned cocultures in regulating various aspects of cellular microenvironment is discussed, as well as the application of these technologies in directing cell fate and elucidating the underlying biology. Throughout this review, we will use specific examples where available and will provide trends and future directions in the field.

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