In the field of engineered organ and drug development, three-dimensional network-structured tissue has been a long-sought goal. This paper presents a direct hydrogel extrusion process exposed to an ultrasound standing wave that aligns fibroblast cells to form a network structure. The frequency-shifted (2 MHz to 4 MHz) ultrasound actuation of a 400-micrometer square-shaped glass capillary that was continuously perfused by fibroblast cells suspended in sodium alginate generated a hydrogel string, with the fibroblasts aligned in single or quadruple streams. In the transition from the one-cell stream to the four-cell streams, the aligned fibroblast cells were continuously interconnected in the form of a branch and a junction. The ultrasound-exposed fibroblast cells displayed over 95% viability up to day 10 in culture medium without any significant difference from the unexposed fibroblast cells. This acoustofluidic method will be further applied to create a vascularized network by replacing fibroblast cells with human umbilical vein endothelial cells.
- Medicinsk laboratorie- och mätteknik