The Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) Microfluidics research team led by Prof. QIN Jianhua has recently made great strides in the biomimetic fabrication of functional bio-fiber materials using a microfluidic approach. Research results from the group were published in Advanced Materials (2014, 26, 2494-2499) and highlighted on the journal cover.
In this work, a novel strategy was proposed for the one-step fabrication of bamboo-like hybrid fibers on the micro-scale. By combining the droplet microfluidic technique with the wet-spinning process, biocompatible hydrogel microfibers can be incorporated with spherical materials, such as hydrophobic microdroplets, polymer microspheres, or multicellular spheroids. Due to the supporting effect of internal spherical materials, a unique and delicate bamboo-like architecture is obtained. Moreover, the spherical materials can be encoded in the fiber to form various sequences, which greatly enrich the diversity and enhance the controllability of the materials. The unique utility of this hybrid microfiber is demonstrated by its ability to serve as a multi-functional microcarrier for different molecules, multicellular spheroids, and encoded materials. Because of the simplicity, flexibility, and controllability, the fabrication process has great potential in other applications in materials science and tissue engineering.
In the past two years, Prof. QIN’s group has carried out a series of studies on the biomimetic synthesis of novel materials using hybrid micro/nano technologies for biomedical applications. Some articles published by his group are: Biomaterials (2014, 35, 1390-1401), Integrative Biology (2014, 6, 35-43), Small (2013, 9, 497–503), Nanoscale (2013, 5, 4687-4690), and Advanced Materials (2012, 24, 2191-2195).(Photo by YU Yue/ Text by MA Jingyun)
Contact: Prof.QIN Jianhua