Fabrication of microstructures in photosensitive biodegradable polymers for tissue engineering applications
Combining the MEMS technology and biology requirements for tissue engineering, the fabrication processes of microstructured chambers and microchannels made in biodegradable photosensitive polymers are presented. The fabrication processes, based on softlithography are very fast and flexible. Various single and multistepwise microstructures could be achieved using the biodegradable polymers. Microstructures down to 50 μm, which are suitable for liver reconstructs, could be fabricated. As the pCLLA acrylate photosensitive polymer has interesting property for implantable bioreactors, that is, its softness, we examined the ability of various mammalian cells to grow and spread on it. With Hep G2 cells, human umbilical blood vessel endothelial cells (HUVEC), 3T3-L1 mouse fibroblasts, static cultures could be successfully performed on single stepwise microstructures. Then, by using this photosensitive biodegradable polymer, a microstructure with simple fluidic channels is fabricated and a perfusion experiment could be carried out. Both cell cultures and perfusion experiments suggested the possibility to use the present photosensitive polymer as microfluidic supports for biodegradable bioreactors for implantation applications.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 25, Issue 19, August 2004, Pages 4683–4690