Recent advances in “bottom-up” tissue engineering research make it possible to build-up tissues with high density and accuracy. However, the fabrication of thick structures still has difficulties because it is a time-consuming process to stack cell sheets or spheroid one-by-one. Moreover, even if the organization is able to be formed thick, necrosis occurs because nutrient can not reach to the deep area of the thick tissues.

The objective of this project is to establish a rapid technology to fabricate thick, highly-dense, heterogeneous 3D tissue structures using MEMS/Microfluidic technology. We prepare cell-laden micro beads, micro fibers, and micro plates as building blocks for the 3D construction; the tissue structures are formed by molding, weaving, and folding of each block. Taking interdisciplinary approaches, we try to build tissue structures that can preserve the functions for a long time by having vascular systems. This technology will open up new paradigm on various sciences and industries including rapid “bottom-up” tissue engineering, drug developments without animal experiments, and highly-sensitive sensors for environment monitoring.

bottom-up fabrication using cells as parts