Mesoscopic hydrogel molding to control the 3D geometry of bioartificial muscle tissues.

TitleMesoscopic hydrogel molding to control the 3D geometry of bioartificial muscle tissues.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBian, W, Liau, B, Badie, N, and Bursac, N
JournalNature Protocols
Start Page1522
Pagination1522 - 1534
Date Published01/2009

This protocol describes a cell/hydrogel molding method for precise and reproducible biomimetic fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) muscle tissue architectures in vitro. Using a high aspect ratio soft lithography technique, we fabricate polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) molds containing arrays of mesoscopic posts with defined size, elongation and spacing. On cell/hydrogel molding, these posts serve to enhance the diffusion of nutrients to cells by introducing elliptical pores in the cell-laden hydrogels and to guide local 3D cell alignment by governing the spatial pattern of mechanical tension. Instead of ultraviolet or chemical cross-linking, this method utilizes natural hydrogel polymerization and topographically constrained cell-mediated gel compaction to create the desired 3D tissue structures. We apply this method to fabricate several square centimeter large, few hundred micron-thick bioartificial muscle tissues composed of viable, dense, uniformly aligned and highly differentiated cardiac or skeletal muscle fibers. The protocol takes 4-5 d to fabricate PDMS molds followed by 2 weeks of cell culture.

Short TitleNature Protocols