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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2006 Dec 1;79(3):522-32.

Micromolding of photocrosslinkable hyaluronic acid for cell encapsulation and entrapment.

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


Micropatterning of hydrogels is potentially useful for a variety of applications, including tissue engineering, fundamental biological studies, diagnostics, and high-throughput screening. Although synthetic polymers have been developed for these applications, natural polymers such as polysaccharides may have advantages for biological samples and cell-based devices because they are natural components of the in vivo microenvironment. In this study, we synthesized and used hyaluronic acid (HA) modified with photoreactive methacrylates to fabricate microstructures as functional components of microfabricated devices. To demonstrate the universality of this approach, two types of microstructures were formed. In the first approach, HA microstructures were fabricated and used as docking templates to enable the subsequent formation of cell microarrays within low shear stress regions of the patterns. Cells within these microwells remained viable, could generate spheroids, and could be retrieved using mechanical disruption. In the second approach, cells were encapsulated directly within the HA hydrogels. Arrays of viable embryonic stem (ES) cells or fibroblasts were encapsulated within HA hydrogels and could later be recovered using enzymatic digestion of the microstructures. These results demonstrate that it is possible to incorporate photocrosslinkable HA, a natural, versatile, degradable, and biocompatible biopolymer, into micro-electromechanical systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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