Acoustofluidics enables direct ink writing of vascular scaffolds with intrinsically patterned porous microstructures

Minghao Shao, Xia Liua, Tengfei Zheng*, Yongqing Fu*, Chaohui Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vascular scaffolds with well-organized pore characteristics are crucial for promoting infiltration, adhesion, growth, tissue-specific arrangement, and substance-exchanges of biological cells. However, their controllable fabrication is extremely challenging, especially for those with specially designed three-dimensional (3D) tubular and porous microstructures. In this paper, a new methodology based on acoustofluidics-assisted direct ink writing (DIW) technique is developed to fabricate vascular scaffolds with controlled porosity distributions and well-defined porous microstructures. Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles and alginate are uniformly mixed as the printing ink, which is printed along a rotating rod to form a vessel-like structure. Distributions of these CaCO3 particles in the printed structure are precisely controlled using bulk acoustic waves. The particles within the vessel-like structure are dissolved in situ using hydrochloric acid, resulting in the formation of 3D vascular scaffolds with intrinsically patterned porous microstructures. The scaffolds printed by the acoustofluidics-assisted DIW method exhibit a 69% improvement in pore connectivity compared to conventional 3D-printed scaffolds. Fibroblast cells are successfully seeded onto these scaffolds, achieving distinctive distributions along the patterned porous microstructures. This innovative methodology, with its excellent microfabrication capabilities, holds great promise for applications in tissue engineering, drug release, composite formation, microfluidic chips, and biosensors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number152258
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date14 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2024

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