Fluid and cell behaviors along a 3D printed alginate/gelatin/fibrin channel

Significance Statement

Prof. Xiaohong Wang in the Center of Organ Manufacturing, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University with her students have created a series of three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting techniques for complex organ manufacturing over the last decade (Figure 1). They have published more than 110 research articles and 40 patents on this subject. For example, they have developed the first combined multi-nozzle 3D printer and printed a viable liver substitute with various branching functional channels. Various complex organ precursors, such as vascular breasts, vascular heart tissues and multifunctional bones have been successfully designed and printed on their own. In addition, Prof. Xiaohong Wang has brought about a series of theories and practice systems in the field of organ manufacturing. For instance, organ manufacturing is like building a nuclear power plant. Sequential engagement of stem cells into different cell types in a 3D construct is necessary for a vascular system establishment. A multi-nozzle RP device is essential for producing artificial organs with more than three cell types. Both synthetic and natural polymers are useful in manufacturing a branched vascular system. Until now, Professor Xiaohong Wang’s group has solved nearly all the technical bottleneck problems in some of the hot research fields, such as tissue engineering, biomaterials, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. According to the popular saying “to achieve organ printing, or additional manufacturing (AM), there are still at least 30 years to work on this project”, Professor Xiaohong Wang’s group has been ahead at least for 25 years for organ manufacturing using the related AM techniques. The first edition of their book: “Organ Manufacturing” will be published soon by the nova publishers in the USA. With their outstanding contributions, the longevity of human being will be prolonged at least 10 years.

Fluid and cell behaviors along a 3D printed alginate/gelatin/fibrin channel










Journal Reference

Xu Y, Wang X. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2015;9999: 1-13.

[expand title=” Show Affiliations”]Department of Mechanical Engineering, Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology, Ministry of Education & Center of Organ Manufacturing, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, P.R. China.[/expand]


Three-dimensional (3D) cell manipulation is available with the integration of microfluidic technology and rapid prototyping techniques. High-Fidelity (Hi-Fi) constructs hold enormous therapeutic potential for organ manufacturing and regenerative medicine. In the present paper we introduced a quasi-three-dimensional (Q3D) model with parallel biocompatible alginate/gelatin/fibrin hurdles. The behaviors of fluids and cells along the microfluidic channels with various widths were studied. Cells inside the newly designed microfluidic channels attached and grew well. Morphological changes of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) in both two-dimensional (2D) and 3D milieu were found on the printed constructs. Endothelialization occurred with the co-cultures of ADSCs and hepatocytes. This study provides insights into the interactions among fluids, cells and biomaterials, the behaviors of fluids and cells along the microfluidic channels, and the applications of Q3D techniques.

© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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