Microfluidic fabrication of cell adhesive chitosan microtubes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chitosan has been used as a scaffolding material in tissue engineering due to its mechanical properties and biocompatibility. With increased appreciation of the effect of micro- and nanoscale environments on cellular behavior, there is increased emphasis on generating microfabricated chitosan structures. Here we employed a microfluidic coaxial flow-focusing system to generate cell adhesive chitosan microtubes of controlled sizes by modifying the flow rates of a chitosan pre-polymer solution and phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The microtubes were extruded from a glass capillary with a 300m inner diameter. After ionic crosslinking with sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP), fabricated microtubes had inner and outer diameter ranges of 70-150m and 120-185m. Computational simulation validated the controlled size of microtubes and cell attachment. To enhance cell adhesiveness on the microtubes, we mixed gelatin with the chitosan pre-polymer solution. During the fabrication of microtubes, fibroblasts suspended in core PBS flow adhered to the inner surface of chitosan-gelatin microtubes. To achieve physiological pH values, we adjusted pH values of chiotsan pre-polymer solution and TPP. In particular, we were able to improve cell viability to 92% with pH values of 5.8 and 7.4 for chitosan and TPP solution respectively. Cell culturing for three days showed that the addition of the gelatin enhanced cell spreading and proliferation inside the chitosan-gelatin microtubes. The microfluidic fabrication method for ionically crosslinked chitosan microtubes at physiological pH can be compatible with a variety of cells and used as a versatile platform for microengineered tissue engineering.

published proceedings

  • Biomed Microdevices

author list (cited authors)

  • Oh, J., Kim, K., Won, S. W., Cha, C., Gaharwar, A. K., Selimovi, S., ... Khademhosseini, A.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Oh, Jonghyun||Kim, Keekyoung||Won, Sung Wook||Cha, Chaenyung||Gaharwar, Akhilesh K||Selimović, Seila||Bae, Hojae||Lee, Kwang Ho||Lee, Dong Hwan||Lee, Sang-Hoon||Khademhosseini, Ali

publication date

  • June 2013