Traditional 2D cell culture protocols poorly represent in vivo conditions. Methods to allow culturing of patient derived cells in scaffolds that closely mimic the 3D environment would be of great clinical value. Parameters to consider are tissue stiffness, chemical and stiffness gradients, and the ability to co-culture various cell types. This project aimed to create a 3D hydrogel system in a range of stiffness comparable to body tissues while allowing cell growth and differentiation in a 3D environment. The design utilized a fast gelling hydrogel and a cross-linker that allowed controlled stiffness. This was combined with a microfluidic gradient generator to produce a 3D hydrogel with a continuous stiffness gradient. This approach can be a valuable tool for tissue engineering research.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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