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Generation of cell-laden hydrogel microspheres using 3D printing-enabled microfluidics

  • Sanika Suvarnapathaki (a1), Rafael Ramos (a1), Stephen W. Sawyer (a1), Shannon McLoughlin (a1), Andrew Ramos (a1), Sarah Venn (a1) and Pranav Soman (a1)...
Abstract

3D printing has been shown to be a robust and inexpensive manufacturing tool for a range of applications within biomedical science. Here we report the design and fabrication of a 3D printer-enabled microfluidic device used to generate cell-laden hydrogel microspheres of tunable sizes. An inverse mold was printed using a 3D printer, and replica molding was used to fabricate a PDMS microfluidic device. Intersecting channel geometry was used to generate perfluorodecalin oil-coated gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) microspheres of varying sizes (35–250 μm diameters). Process parameters such as viscosity profile and UV cross-linking times were determined for a range of GelMA concentrations (7–15% w/v). Empirical relationships between flow rates of GelMA and oil phases, microspheres size, and associated swelling properties were determined. For cell experiments, GelMA was mixed with human osteosarcoma Saos-2 cells, to generate cell-laden GelMA microspheres with high long-term viability. This simple, inexpensive method does not require the use of traditional cleanroom facilities and when combined with the appropriate flow setup is robust enough to yield tunable cell-laden hydrogel microspheres for potential tissue engineering applications.

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Corresponding author
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: psoman@syr.edu
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b)

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
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