Microfabrication of scaffold-free tissue strands for three-dimensional tissue engineering

Adil Akkouch, Yin Yu, Ibrahim T. Ozbolat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


In this note, we report a practical and efficient method based on a coaxial extrusion and microinjection technique for biofabrication of scaffold-free tissue strands. Tissue strands were obtained using tubular alginate conduits as mini-capsules with well-defined permeability and mechanical properties, where their removal by ionic decrosslinking allowed the formation of scaffold-free cell aggregates in the form of cylindrical strands with well-defined morphology and geometry. Rat dermal fibroblasts and mouse insulinoma beta TC3 cells were used to fabricate both single-cellular and heterocellular tissue strands with high cell viability, self-assembling capability and the ability to express cell-specific functional markers. By taking advantage of tissue self-assembly, we succeeded in guiding the fusion of tissue strands to fabricate larger tissue patches. The presented approach enables fabrication of cell aggregates with controlled dimensions allowing highly long strands, which can be used for various applications, including fabrication of scale-up complex tissues and of tissue models for drug screening and cancer studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031002
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 16 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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