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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015 Feb 4;7(4):2183-8. doi: 10.1021/am508292t. Epub 2015 Jan 21.

Engineering controllable architecture in matrigel for 3D cell alignment.

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Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience and ‡School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University , Seoul, Republic of Korea.


We report a microfluidic approach to impart alignment in ECM components in 3D hydrogels by continuously applying fluid flow across the bulk gel during the gelation process. The microfluidic device where each channel can be independently filled was tilted at 90° to generate continuous flow across the Matrigel as it gelled. The presence of flow helped that more than 70% of ECM components were oriented along the direction of flow, compared with randomly cross-linked Matrigel. Following the oriented ECM components, primary rat cortical neurons and mouse neural stem cells showed oriented outgrowth of neuronal processes within the 3D Matrigel matrix.


3D cell culture; ECM; aligned hydrogel; microfluidics; shear flow

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