Recent Advances of Biologically Inspired 3D Microfluidic Hydrogel Cell Culture Systems

Julie Marie Rosser, Isabel Olmos Calvo, Magdalena Schlager, Michaela Purtscher, Florien Jenner, Peter Ertl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The application of hydrogels as a matrix for 3-dimensional cell cultures has become an indispensable tool in tissue engineering, biotechnology and biomedical research due to the improved functionality and viability of the in vitro biological system. The combination of 3-dimensional hydrogel cell cultures with microchip technology further allows (i) spatial and temporal control of cell growth, (ii) application of defined mechanical (e.g. shear, strain, stretch) and chemical (e.g. gradients) stimuli, as well as (iii) monitoring of dynamic cellular responses using integrated sensing strategies. The main advantage of hydrogels for microfluidic cell cultures, however, is their mimicry of extracellular matrix structures including adequate porosity for cellular organization, biocompatibility, and representative stiffness, all key parameters that promote native-like tissue function. This review focuses primarily on recent advances in biologically inspired microfluidic systems that are based on 3-dimensional hydrogel cell cultures and discusses advantages and current challenges, various applications of microfluidic hydrogel cell cultures and future perspectives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages14
    JournalHSOA Journal of Cell Biology & Cell Metabolism
    Issue number100005
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research Field

    • Biosensor Technologies


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