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Issue 15, 2014
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Magnetically controllable 3D microtissues based on magnetic microcryogels

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Microtissues on the scale of several hundred microns are a promising cell culture configuration resembling the functional tissue units in vivo. In contrast to conventional cell culture, handling of microtissues poses new challenges such as medium exchange, purification and maintenance of the microtissue integrity. Here, we developed magnetic microcryogels to assist microtissue formation with enhanced controllability and robustness. The magnetic microcryogels were fabricated on-chip by cryogelation and micro-molding which could endure extensive external forces such as fluidic shear stress during pipetting and syringe injection. The magnetically controllable microtissues were applied to constitute a novel separable 3D co-culture system realizing functional enhancement of the hepatic microtissues co-cultured with the stromal microtissues and easy purification of the hepatic microtissues for downstream drug testing. The magnetically controllable microtissues with pre-defined shapes were also applied as building blocks to accelerate the tissue assembly process under magnetic force for bottom-up tissue engineering. Finally, the magnetic microcryogels could be injected in vivo as cell delivery vehicles and tracked by MRI. The injectable magnetic microtissues maintained viability at the injection site indicating good retention and potential applications for cell therapy. The magnetic microcryogels are expected to significantly promote the microtissues as a promising cellular configuration for cell-based applications such as in drug testing, tissue engineering and regenerative therapy.

Graphical abstract: Magnetically controllable 3D microtissues based on magnetic microcryogels

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jan 2014, accepted on 03 Mar 2014 and first published on 10 Mar 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00081A
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Lab Chip, 2014,14, 2614-2625
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    Magnetically controllable 3D microtissues based on magnetic microcryogels

    W. Liu, Y. Li, S. Feng, J. Ning, J. Wang, M. Gou, H. Chen, F. Xu and Y. Du, Lab Chip, 2014, 14, 2614
    DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00081A

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