Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) Research Group led by Prof. QIN Jianhua has made a progress on the fabrication of functional fiber materials with tubular structure based on microfluidic technique. The laminar flow characteristic of fluid under microscale was exploited to generate a multilayer jet flow in our self-developed polydimethylsiloxane chip. The results were published on Advanced Materials (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201601504).
Based on the multilayer jet flow, a series of tubular alginate fiber materials with diverse morphologies, structures and compositions was successfully fabricated. Their potential biological applications were also investigated. The uniqueness of the fabricated tubular microfibers lies in its tunable hollow number, its flexible multiple compartmental property, and its heterogeneous compositions.
Hydrodynamic spinning heterogeneous microfibers with multi-hollow and multi-compartment strucuture (Image by YU Yue)
Comparing with traditional method, the approach shows advantages in simplicity, cost effective, and reproducibility. These novel tubular fiber materials can not only be used for biocatalysis, but also be used as multifunctional carriers. Cargos like living cells or bifunctional molecules can be loaded into the hollow or body of the microfiber. Cell co-culture is achievable using our fiber materials, and cell to cell interaction can be studied.
Besides, simultaneous differentiation of a single cell population to different direction can be realized when culturing in our fiber materials. Thus it greatly facilitated the in vitro construction of linear microtissue like muscle, blood vessel, and nerve. This work demonstrates the potentials of this approach in the areas of material chemistry, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
In the past several years, Prof. Qin’s group has carried out a series of microfluidic-based synthesis of novel materials, including the hybrid fiber materials, formation of biomimetic interface and related medical applications. Some work has been published on Advanced Materials (Adv. Mater. 2012, 24(16), 2191-2195; Adv. Mater. 2014, 26, 2494–2499), Nanoscale (Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 4687-4690), Small (Small, 2013, 9(4), 497–503; Small 2015, 11, No. 30, 3666–3675), Biomaterials (Biomaterials, 2014, 35: 1390-1401), etc.(Text/Image by YU Yue)
Dr. LU Xinyi
Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
457 Zhongshan Road, Dalian, 116023, China,