The project’s goal is to develop new microfluidic methods of precise, reproducible formulation of three-dimensional structures from aqueous micro-droplets as building blocks and to demonstrate the use of such structures in micro-tissue engineering and synthesis of biomimetic capsules.
During the last decade, droplet microfluidics has emerged as a powerful tool in high-throughput diagnostic and screening applications based on the fragmentation of a sample into monodisperse micro-droplets and subsequent manipulation as isolated bioreactors. The available manipulation techniques include splitting, merging, transporting, or trapping. However, the microfluidic formation of 3D structures from droplets, offering great potential in tissue engineering and drug delivery, is still poorly understood. In the program, we will demonstrate new applications of the microfluidic-assisted formulation of droplet-based materials in i) generation of multi-compartment liposomes, i.e., capsules built of several aqueous compartments separated by lipid bilayers, with the specific 3D arrangement of segments for advanced drug delivery applications, and ii) assembling of cell-laden droplets into 3D structures and culturing novel micro-tissues with unusual morphologies as a platform for high-throughput drug testing. On the side of basic soft-matter science, we will also, for the first time, iii) generate and manipulate structures built of tightly packed hundreds and thousands of droplets as an easily accessible model system for studying mechanics of soft granular aggregates such as cell spheroids.
The project is realized within the TEAM program of the Foundation for Polish Science, co-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund.
Project’s Name: New Applications of Droplet Microfluidics: From Biomimetics to Tissue Engineering
Project Leader: Dr. Jan Guzowski
Project Budget: 2 950 000 PLN