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Multiphasic microgel-in-gel materials to recapitulate cellular mesoenvironments in vitro

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Abstract

Multiphasic in vitro models with cross-scale heterogeneity in matrix properties and/or cellular composition can reflect the structural and compositional complexity of living tissues more faithfully, thereby creating new options for pathobiology and drug development studies. Herein, a new class of tunable microgel-in-gel materials is reported that build on a versatile platform of multifunctional poly(ethylene glycol)-heparin gel types and integrates monodisperse, cell-laden microgels within cell-laden bulk hydrogel matrices. A novel microfluidic approach was developed to enable the high-throughput fabrication of microgels of in situ adjustable diameters, stiffness, degradability and biomolecular functionalization. By choosing structure and composition of the microgel and the bulk gel compartments independently, our microgel-in-gel arrangements provide cross-scale control over tissue-mimetic features and pave the way for culture systems with designed mesoenvironmental characteristics. The potentialities of the introduced approach are exemplarily shown by creating a reductionistic in vitro model of vascularized prostate cancer tissue.

Graphical abstract: Multiphasic microgel-in-gel materials to recapitulate cellular mesoenvironments in vitro

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jun 2019, accepted on 18 Oct 2019 and first published on 25 Oct 2019


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C9BM01009B
Biomater. Sci., 2020, Advance Article

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    Multiphasic microgel-in-gel materials to recapitulate cellular mesoenvironments in vitro

    D. Husman, P. B. Welzel, S. Vogler, L. J. Bray, N. Träber, J. Friedrichs, V. Körber, M. V. Tsurkan, U. Freudenberg, J. Thiele and C. Werner, Biomater. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9BM01009B

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