Microfluidic hydrogels for tissue engineering

Biofabrication. 2011 Mar;3(1):012001. doi: 10.1088/1758-5082/3/1/012001. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


With advanced properties similar to the native extracellular matrix, hydrogels have found widespread applications in tissue engineering. Hydrogel-based cellular constructs have been successfully developed to engineer different tissues such as skin, cartilage and bladder. Whilst significant advances have been made, it is still challenging to fabricate large and complex functional tissues due mainly to the limited diffusion capability of hydrogels. The integration of microfluidic networks and hydrogels can greatly enhance mass transport in hydrogels and spatiotemporally control the chemical microenvironment of cells, mimicking the function of native microvessels. In this review, we present and discuss recent advances in the fabrication of microfluidic hydrogels from the viewpoint of tissue engineering. Further development of new hydrogels and microengineering technologies will have a great impact on tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diffusion
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Microfluidics / instrumentation*
  • Microfluidics / methods
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods


  • Hydrogels