Photoannealing of Microtissues Creates High-Density Capillary Network Containing Living Matter in a Volumetric-Independent Manner

Maik Schot, Malin Becker, Carlo Alberto Paggi, Francisca Gomes, Timo Koch, Tarek Gensheimer, Castro Johnbosco, Liebert Parreiras Nogueira, Andries van der Meer, Andreas Carlson, Håvard Haugen, Jeroen Leijten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The vascular tree is crucial for the survival and function of large living tissues. Despite breakthroughs in 3D bioprinting to endow engineered tissues with large blood vessels, there is currently no approach to engineer high-density capillary networks into living tissues in a scalable manner. Here, photoannealing of living microtissue (PALM) is presented as a scalable strategy to engineer capillary-rich tissues. Specifically, in-air microfluidics is used to produce living microtissues composed of cell-laden microgels in ultrahigh throughput, which can be photoannealed into a monolithic living matter. Annealed microtissues inherently give rise to an open and interconnected pore network within the resulting living matter. Interestingly, utilizing soft microgels enables microgel deformation, which leads to the uniform formation of capillary-sized pores. Importantly, the ultrahigh throughput nature underlying the microtissue formation uniquely facilitates scalable production of living tissues of clinically relevant sizes (>1 cm3) with an integrated high-density capillary network. In short, PALM generates monolithic, microporous, modular tissues that meet the previously unsolved need for large engineered tissues containing high-density vascular networks, which is anticipated to advance the fields of engineered organs, regenerative medicine, and drug screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2308949
JournalAdvanced materials
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 14 Dec 2023


  • biofabrication
  • microfluidics
  • perfusion
  • tissue engineering
  • vascularization
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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