The fabrication of patterned microstructures within three-dimensional (3D) matrices is a challenging subject in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. A 3D, free-moving bioprinting system was developed and hydrogels were patterned by varying the process parameters of z-axis moving velocity and ejection velocity. The patterning of hydrogel based microfibers in a 3D matrigel was achieved with dimensions of 4.5mm length and widths from 79 to 200μm. Hyaluronan-based hydrogels mixed with fibroblasts (L929), mouse endothelial cells (MS1), or human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were patterned using a 3D moving axis bioprinter and cell behavior was monitored in culture for up to 16 days. L929 and MS1 cells and hMSCs in patterned hydrogel revealed cell-cell interactions and a morphological dependency on cell types. HMSCs formed spheres through cell aggregation, while L929 cells increased in cellular mass without cell aggregation and MS1 dispersed into the matrix instead of aggregating. The aggregation of hMSCs was attenuated by treatment with Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitor and cadherin antibody. This reflected the close relationship between cell aggregation and migration with RhoA and cell-cell adhesion molecules. Angiogenic-specific gene expression profiles showed that expression of CD105 decreased to 22% in the ROCK inhibitor group compared to control group. These results showed that cell-based patterns in a 3D matrix are highly dependent on both cell aggregation and migration over time.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea , Republic of Korea (Grant No. 2010-0004398 ).
- Cell aggregation
- Cell migration
- Cell-cell interaction
- Hydrogel patterning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology