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Microfluidic Tissue Engineering and Bio?actuation

Bio?hybrid technologies aim to replicate the unique capabilities of biological systems that could surpass advanced artificial technologies. Soft bio?hybrid robots consist of synthetic and living materials and have the potential to self?assemble, regenerate, work autonomously, and interact safely with other species and the environment. Cells require a sufficient exchange of nutrients and gases, which is guaranteed by convection and diffusive transport through liquid media. The functional development and long?term survival of biological tissues in vitro can be improved by dynamic flow culture, but only microfluidic flow control can develop tissue with fine structuring and regulation at the microscale. Full control of tissue growth at the microscale will eventually lead to functional macroscale constructs, which are needed as the biological component of soft bio?hybrid technologies. This review summarizes recent progress in microfluidic techniques to engineer biological tissues, focusing on the use of muscle cells for robotic bio?actuation. Moreover, the instances in which bio?actuation technologies greatly benefit from fusion with microfluidics are highlighted, which include: the microfabrication of matrices; biomimicry of cell microenvironments; tissue maturation, perfusion, and vascularization.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Publication date: 22/02/2022

Advanced Materials


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.