, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 1259-1267

Computational simulation of a magnetic microactuator for tissue engineering applications

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Abstract

The next generation of tissue engineered constructs (TECs) requires the incorporation of a controllable and optimized microstructure if they are to chemically, mechanically, and biologically mimic tissue function. In order to obtain TECs with optimized microstructures, a combination of spatiotemporally regulated mechanical and biochemical stimuli is necessary during the formation of the construct. While numerous efforts have been made to create functional tissue constructs, there are few techniques available to stimulate TECs in a localized manner. We herein describe the design of a microdevice which can stimulate TECs in a localized, inhomogeneous, and predefined anisotropic fashion using ferromagnetically doped polydimethylsiloxane microflaps (MFs). Specifically, a sequential magneto-structural finite element model of the proposed microdevice is constructed and utilized to understand how changes in magnetic and geometrical properties of the device affect MF deflection. Our study indicates that a relatively small density of ferromagnetic material is required to result in adequate force and MF defection (175 μm ~7% TEC strain). We also demonstrate that MF to magnet distance is more important than inherent MF magnetic permeability in determining resulting MF deflection. An experimental validation test setup was used to validate the computational solutions. The comparison shows reasonable agreement indicating a 5.9% difference between experimentally measured and computationally predicted MF displacement. Correspondingly, an apparatus with two MFs and two magnets has been made and is currently undergoing construct testing. The current study presents the design of a novel magnetic microactuator for tissue engineering applications. The computational results reported here will form the foundation in the design and optimization of a functional microdevice with multiple MFs and magnets capable of stimulating TECs in nonhomogenous and preferred directions with relevant spatial resolution.