Sound-induced morphogenesis of multicellular systems for rapid orchestration of vascular networks

Biofabrication. 2020 Oct 16;13(1). doi: 10.1088/1758-5090/abbb9c.


Morphogenesis, a complex process, ubiquitous in developmental biology and many pathologies, is based on self-patterning of cells. Spatial patterns of cells, organoids, or inorganic particles can be forced on demand using acoustic surface standing waves, such as the Faraday waves. This technology allows tuning of parameters (sound frequency, amplitude, chamber shape) under contactless, fast and mild culture conditions, for morphologically relevant tissue generation. We call this method Sound Induced Morphogenesis (SIM). In this work, we use SIM to achieve tight control over patterning of endothelial cells and mesenchymal stem cells densities within a hydrogel, with the endpoint formation of vascular structures. Here, we first parameterize our system to produce enhanced cell density gradients. Second, we allow for vasculogenesis after SIM patterning control and compare our controlled technology against state-of-the-art microfluidic culture systems, the latter characteristic of pure self-organized patterning and uniform initial density. Our sound-induced cell density patterning and subsequent vasculogenesis requires less cells than the microfluidic chamber. We advocate for the use of SIM for rapid, mild, and reproducible morphogenesis induction and further explorations in the regenerative medicine and cell therapy fields.

Keywords: biofabrication; morphogenesis; multicellular systems; sound patterning; vascular networks.