Digitally tunable physicochemical coding of material composition and topography in continuous microfibres

Edward Kang, Gi Seok Jeong, Yoon Young Choi, Kwang Ho Lee, Ali Khademhosseini, Sang Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

401 Citations (Scopus)


Heterotypic functional materials with compositional and topographical properties that vary spatiotemporally on the micro-or nanoscale are common in nature. However, fabricating such complex materials in the laboratory remains challenging. Here we describe a method to continuously create microfibres with tunable morphological, structural and chemical features using a microfluidic system consisting of a digital, programmable flow control that mimics the silk-spinning process of spiders. With this method we fabricated hydrogel microfibres coded with varying chemical composition and topography along the fibre, including gas micro-bubbles as well as nanoporous spindle-knots and joints that enabled directional water collection. We also explored the potential use of the coded microfibres for tissue engineering applications by creating multifunctional microfibres with a spatially controlled co-culture of encapsulated cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-883
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the NRL (National Research Laboratory) programme, the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF), Republic of Korea (No. 20110020455), basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (No. R11-2008-044-02002-0) and the Korea Research and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) funded by the Korea government (KRF; No. KRF-2008-220-D00133).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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