Instrumented Cardiac Microphysiological Devices via Multimaterial Three-Dimensional Printing

Nat Mater. 2017 Mar;16(3):303-308. doi: 10.1038/nmat4782. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Abstract

Biomedical research has relied on animal studies and conventional cell cultures for decades. Recently, microphysiological systems (MPS), also known as organs-on-chips, that recapitulate the structure and function of native tissues in vitro, have emerged as a promising alternative. However, current MPS typically lack integrated sensors and their fabrication requires multi-step lithographic processes. Here, we introduce a facile route for fabricating a new class of instrumented cardiac microphysiological devices via multimaterial three-dimensional (3D) printing. Specifically, we designed six functional inks, based on piezo-resistive, high-conductance, and biocompatible soft materials that enable integration of soft strain gauge sensors within micro-architectures that guide the self-assembly of physio-mimetic laminar cardiac tissues. We validated that these embedded sensors provide non-invasive, electronic readouts of tissue contractile stresses inside cell incubator environments. We further applied these devices to study drug responses, as well as the contractile development of human stem cell-derived laminar cardiac tissues over four weeks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Array Analysis / instrumentation*