Despite great progress in tissue engineering, there still exist limitations in engineering and manufacturing thick tissues. The engineered construct is still trapped in a geometrically simple and thin structure due to an inefficient transportation system. In traditional scaffolding, the media exchange rate mainly depends on media diffusion. Even a porous scaffold cannot provide enough media for the high metabolic rate of thick tissue. Embedding microfluidic channels has great potential to increase media exchange capability. The existing microfluidic channel fabrication methods are limits as well. Microfluidic channels with interconnectivity, 3D dimension, or complex geometry have not been achieved. To address these issues, a novel printable microfluidic channel fabrication method is introduced in this paper.
This research investigates the manufacturability of novel cellular micro-fluidic channels. The proposed micro-fluidic channels can directly construct a scaffold that will provide both support of mechanical integrity and fluid transport in 3D. The main purpose of this paper is to experimentally analyze the effect of dispensing parameters and media flow characteristics on resulting microfluidic channels.