Leaf-Inspired Authentically Complex Microvascular Networks for Deciphering Biological Transport Processes.

08:00 EDT 14th August 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Leaf-Inspired Authentically Complex Microvascular Networks for Deciphering Biological Transport Processes."

The vascular transport of molecules, cells and nanoconstructs is a fundamental biophysical process impacting tissue regeneration; delivery of nutrients and therapeutic agents; and the response of the immune system to external pathogens. This process is often studied in single-channel microfluidic devices lacking the complex tri-dimensional organization of vascular networks. Here, soft lithography is employed to replicate the vein system of a Hedera elix leaf on a polydimethilsiloxane (PDMS) template. The replica is then sealed and connected to an external pumping system to realize an authentically complex microvascular network. This satisfies energy minimization criteria by the Murray's law and comprises a network of channels ranging in size from capillaries ( 50 m) to large arterioles and venules ( 400 m). Micro-PIV (Micro - Particle Image Velocimetry) analysis is employed to characterize flow conditions in terms of streamlines, fluid velocity, and flow rates. To demonstrate the ability to reproduce physiologically relevant transport processes, two different applications are demonstrated: vascular deposition of tumor cells and lysis of blood clots. To this end, conditions are identified to culture cells within the microvasculature and realize a confluent endothelial monolayer. Then, the vascular deposition of circulating breast (MDA-MB 231) cancer cells is documented throughout the network under physiologically relevant flow conditions. Firm cell adhesion mostly occurs in channels with low mean blood velocity. As a second application, blood clots are formed within the chip by mixing whole blood with a thrombin solution. After demonstrating the blood clot stability, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and tPA-carrying nanoconstructs (tPA-DPNs) are employed as thrombolytics. In agreement with previous data, clot dissolution is equally induced by tPA and tPA-DPNs. The proposed leaf-inspired chip can be efficiently used to study a variety of vascular transport processes in complex microvascular networks, where geometry and flow conditions can be modulated and monitored throughout the experimental campaign.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: ACS applied materials & interfaces
ISSN: 1944-8252


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