Biomedical Microdevices

, 17:88 | Cite as

A multilayered microfluidic blood vessel-like structure

  • Anwarul HasanEmail author
  • Arghya Paul
  • Adnan Memic
  • Ali KhademhosseiniEmail author


There is an immense need for tissue engineered blood vessels. However, current tissue engineering approaches still lack the ability to build native blood vessel-like perfusable structures with multi-layered vascular walls. This paper demonstrated a new method to fabricate tri-layer biomimetic blood vessel-like structures on a microfluidic platform using photocrosslinkable gelatin hydrogel. The presented method enables fabrication of physiological blood vessel-like structures with mono-, bi- or tri-layer vascular walls. The diameter of the vessels, the total thickness of the vessel wall and the thickness of each individual layer of the wall were independently controlled. The developed fabrication process is a simple and rapid method, allowing the physical fabrication of the vascular structure in minutes, and the formation of a vascular endothelial cell layer inside the vessels in 3–5 days. The fabricated vascular constructs can potentially be used in numerous applications including drug screening, development of in vitro models for cardiovascular diseases and/or cancer metastasis, and study of vascular biology and mechanobiology.


Tissue engineering Microfluidics Blood vessel Hydrogel PDMS Microfabrication 



Anwarul Hasan acknowledges the startup grant and the URB (University Research Board) grant from American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and the CNRS (National Council for Scientific Research) grant, Lebanon. Ali Khademhosseini acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation (EFRI-1240443), IMMODGEL (602694), and the National Institutes of Health (EB012597, AR057837, DE021468, HL099073, AI105024, AR063745). The authors acknowledge the assistance from Gi Seok Jeong in drawing/editing a part of Fig. 1, and scientific/technical discussions with Joe Tien from Boston University. Arghya Paul likes to acknowledge the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health (NIH), under Award Number P20GM103638-04. Adnan Memic and Ali Khademhosseini would like to thank the National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation (MAARIFAH) by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Grant No. 12-MED3096-3 for their support and funding of this project.

Supplementary material

10544_2015_9993_MOESM1_ESM.docx (110 kb)
FIG. S1 Optimization of GelMA concentration for fabrication of blood vessel-like structures: phase contrast images showing smoothness of the tube surface at different concentrations of GelMA. At (a) 4 % and (b) 8 % concentrations, the surface of the lumen got ruptured during the retrieval of the needle after gel formation. At (c) 12 % and higher concentrations the gels were strong enough to retain their structures and resulted in smooth channels. i.e., stiffer GlelMA resulted in smoother channel compared to low concentration GelMA. Scale bar = 200 μm. (DOCX 110 kb)
10544_2015_9993_MOESM2_ESM.docx (144 kb)
FIG. S2 Optimization of mechanical properties of fabricated blood vessel-like structures was performed using uniaxial compressive mechanical test on fabricated cell laden monolayer blood vessel-like structures, (a) schematic and dimension of the constructs for mechanical test, (b) stress–strain graph, (c) compressive modulus, (d) failure stress and (e) failure strain for vessels of different GelMA concentrations. The compressive modulus and failure stress of the constructs increased while the failure strain decreased with increase in GelMA concentration. (DOCX 144 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomedical Engineering, and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and ArchitectureAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Biomaterials Innovation Research Center, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and TechnologyMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Chemical and Petroleum EngineeringUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  5. 5.Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired EngineeringHarvard UniversityBostonUSA
  6. 6.Center of NanotechnologyKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  7. 7.World Premier International – Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR)Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  8. 8.Department of PhysicsKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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