An easy-to-use and versatile method for building cell-laden microfibres

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 12;6:33328. doi: 10.1038/srep33328.


Fibre-shaped materials are useful for creating different functional three-dimensional (3D) structures that could mimic complex tissues. Several methods (e.g. extrusion, laminar flow or electrospinning) have been proposed for building hydrogel microfibres, with distinctive cell types and with different degrees of complexity. However, these methods require numerous protocol adaptations in order to achieve fibre fabricating and lack the ability to control microfibre alignment. Here, we present a simple method for the production of microfibers, based on a core shell approach, composed of calcium alginate and type I collagen. The process presented here allows the removal of the calcium alginate shell, after only 24 hours of culture, leading to stable and reproducible fibre shaped cellular constructs. With time of culture cells show to distribute preferentially to the surface of the fibre and display a uniform cellular orientation. Moreover, when cultured inside the fibres, murine bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells show the capacity to differentiate towards the osteoblastic lineage, under non-osteoinductive culture conditions. This work establishes a novel method for cellular fibre fabrication that due to its inherent simplicity can be easily upscaled and applied to other cell types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't