AccScience Publishing / IJB / Volume 10 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.0226
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A 3D-printed micro-perfused culture device with embedded 3D fibrous scaffold for enhanced biomimicry 

Feng Lin Ng1 Zhanhong Cen1 Yi-Chin Toh2,3 Lay Poh Tan4*
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1 Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, 636732
2 School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
3 Centre for Biomedical Technologies, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia
4 School of Materials Science & Engineering, Nanyang Technological University 639798, Singapore
IJB 2024, 10(1), 0226
Submitted: 23 October 2022 | Accepted: 21 December 2022 | Published: 11 July 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Advanced Biomedical Devices)
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

Additive manufacturing has rapidly revolutionized the medical sectors since it is a versatile, cost-effective, assembly free technique with the ability to replicate geometrically complicated features. Some of the widely reported applications include the printing of scaffolds, implants, or microfluidic devices. In this study, a 3D-printed micro-perfused culture (MPC) device embedded with a nanofibrous scaffold was designed to create an integrated micro-perfused 3D cell culture environment for living cells. The addition of 3D fibrous scaffold onto the microfluidic chip was to provide a more physiologically relevant microenvironment for cell culture studies. Stereolithography was adopted in this study as this technique obviates excessive preassembly and bonding steps, which would otherwise be needed in conventional microfluidic fabrication. Huh7.5 hepatocellular carcinoma cells were used as model cells for this platform since liver cells experience similar perfused microenvironment. Preliminary cell studies revealed that gene expressions of albumin (ALB) and cytochrome P450 isoform (CYP3A7) were found to be significantly upregulated on the 3D-printed MPC device as compared to the static counterpart. Taken together, the 3D-printed MPC device is shown to be a physiologically relevant platform for the maintenance of liver cells. The device and printing technique developed in this study is highly versatile and tailorable to mimic local in vivo microenvironment needs of various tissues, which could be studied in future.

Porous scaffold
Perfused culture
Human hepatocarcinoma cell
This work is supported in part by the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore; MOE Tier 1 RG130/15 and HealthTech NTU.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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