Rapid fabrication of cell-laden alginate hydrogel 3D structures by micro dip-coating

Atabak Ghanizadeh Tabriz, Christopher G. Mills, John J. Mullins, James A. Davies, Wenmiao Shu

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8 Citations (Scopus)
202 Downloads (Pure)


Development of a simple, straight-forward 3D fabrication method to culture cells in 3D, without relying on any complex fabrication methods, remains a challenge. In this paper, we describe a new technique that allows fabrication of scalable 3D cell-laden hydrogel structures easily, without complex machinery: the technique can be done using only apparatus already available in a typical cell biology laboratory. The fabrication method involves micro dip-coating of cell-laden hydrogels covering the surface of a metal bar, into the cross-linking reagents calcium chloride or barium chloride to form hollow tubular structures. This method can be used to form single layers with thickness ranging from 126 μm to 220 μm or multi-layered tubular structures. This fabrication method uses alginate hydrogel as the primary biomaterial and a secondary biomaterial can be added depending on the desired application. We demonstrate the feasibility of this method, with survival rate over 75% immediately after fabrication and normal responsiveness of cells within these tubular structures using mouse dermal embryonic fibroblast cells and human embryonic kidney 293 cells containing a tetracycline-responsive, red fluorescent protein (tHEK cells).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2017


  • hydrogel 3D structures
  • hydrogel fabrication
  • cell culture
  • alginate
  • micro dip-coating
  • cell-laden
  • vascular structures
  • biofabrication

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