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Fabricating scaffolds by microfluidics
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In this paper, we demonstrate for the first time the technique to using microfluidics to fabricate tissue engineering scaffolds with uniform pore sizes. We investigate both the bubble generation of the microfluidic device and the application of foam as a tissue engineering scaffold. Our microfluidic device consists of two concentric tapered channels, which are made by micropipettes. Nitrogen gas and aqueous alginate solution with Pluronic® F127 surfactant are pumped through the inner and the outer channels, respectively. We observe rich dynamic patterns of bubbles encapsulated in the liquiddroplets. The size of the bubble depends linearly on the gas pressure and inversely on the liquidflow rate. In addition, monodisperse bubbles self-assemble into crystalline structures. The liquid crystalline foams are further processed into open-cell solid foams. The novel foam gel was used as a scaffold to culture chondrocytes.
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