Creating functional microvessels in 3D tissue models using 'melt electrowriting' in a hydrogel matrix
As experimental setups have advanced over time, from 2D cell cultures in dishes to larger 3D structures that mimic the body’s environments, networks of vessels have become essential to get materials to growing cells at the heart of the models. A new study creates this vascular network with a scaffold first drawn with melt electrowriting – a form of microscopic 3D printing – which is submerged in the precursor of a gel. The scaffold swells, and fuses together where elements make contact, to create a predefined network of channels throughout the structure. These vessels (pictured, with a complete layer of functional cells lining the inside of the vessel) can transport essential molecules to cells growing anywhere in the device, helping to both create a viable testing platform for experiments and improve prospects of growing healthy tissues for regenerative medicine.
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