In this presentation, I will talk about several Microfluidic-based approaches for the rapid construction of 3D cellular construct.
Large-scale 3D tissue architectures that mimic microscopic tissue structures in vivo are very important for not only in tissue engineering but also drug development without animal experiments. We demonstrated a method of 3D tissue construction by using point, line and plane-type microtissues as cellular building blocks. For example, to prepare the point type building blocks, we used an axisymmetric flow focusing device (AFFD) that allows us to encapsulate cells within monodisperse collagen beads. By molding these cell beads into a 3D chamber and incubating them, we successfully obtained complicated and milli-sized 3D cellular constructs. As the line type building blocks, a cell-encapsulating core-shell hydrogel fiber was produced in a double coaxial laminar flow microfluidic device. When with myocytes, endothelial, and nerve cells, they showed the contractile motion of the myocyte cell fiber, the tube formation of the endothelial cell fibers and the synaptic connections of the nerve cell fiber, respectively. By reeling, weaving and folding the fibers using microfluidic handling, higher-order assembly of fiber-shaped 3D cellular constructs can be performed. Moreover, the fiber encapsulating beta-cells is used for the implantation of diabetic mice, and succeeded in normalizing the blood glucose level.