ECM-based microchannel for culturing in vitro vascular tissues with simultaneous perfusion and stretch
Azusa Shimizu a, Wei Huang Goh b, Shun Itai a, Michinao Hashimoto b,c, Shigenori Miura d, and Hiroaki Onoe *,a,e
We present an extracellular matrix (ECM)-based stretchable microfluidic system for culturing in vitro three-dimensional (3D) vascular tissues, which mimics in vivo blood vessels. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) can be cultured under perfusion and stretch simultaneously with real-time imaging by our proposed system. Our ECM (transglutaminase (TG) cross-linked gelatin)-based microchannel was fabricated by dissolving water-soluble sacrificial polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) molds printed with a 3D printer. Flows in the microchannel were analyzed under perfusion and stretch. We demonstrated simultaneous perfusion and stretch of TG gelatin-based microchannels culturing HUVECs. We suggest that our TG gelatin-based stretchable microfluidic system proves to be a useful tool for understanding the mechanisms of vascular tissue formation and mechanotransduction.