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Biofabrication. 2013 Sep;5(3):035002. doi: 10.1088/1758-5082/5/3/035002. Epub 2013 May 20.

Fabrication of 3D cell-laden hydrogel microstructures through photo-mold patterning.

Author information

1
Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.

Abstract

Native tissues are characterized by spatially organized three-dimensional (3D) microscaled units which functionally define cells-cells and cells-extracellular matrix interactions. The ability to engineer biomimetic constructs mimicking these 3D microarchitectures is subject to the control over cell distribution and organization. In the present study we introduce a novel protocol to generate 3D cell laden hydrogel micropatterns with defined size and shape. The method, named photo-mold patterning (PMP), combines hydrogel micromolding within polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) stamps and photopolymerization through a recently introduced biocompatible ultraviolet (UVA) activated photoinitiator (VA-086). Exploiting PDMS micromolds as geometrical constraints for two methacrylated prepolymers (polyethylene glycol diacrylate and gelatin methacrylate), micrometrically resolved structures were obtained within a 3 min exposure to a low cost and commercially available UVA LED. The PMP was validated both on a continuous cell line (human umbilical vein endothelial cells expressing green fluorescent protein, HUVEC GFP) and on primary human bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). HUVEC GFP and BMSCs were exposed to 1.5% w/v VA-086 and UVA light (1 W, 385 nm, distance from sample = 5 cm). Photocrosslinking conditions applied during the PMP did not negatively affect cells viability or specific metabolic activity. Quantitative analyses demonstrated the potentiality of PMP to uniformly embed viable cells within 3D microgels, creating biocompatible and favorable environments for cell proliferation and spreading during a seven days' culture. PMP can thus be considered as a promising and cost effective tool for designing spatially accurate in vitro models and, in perspective, functional constructs.

PMID:
23685332
DOI:
10.1088/1758-5082/5/3/035002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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