High-throughput design of cultured tissue moulds using a biophysical model: optimising cell alignment

Hague, James P; Andrews, Allison E and Dickinson, Hugh (2023). High-throughput design of cultured tissue moulds using a biophysical model: optimising cell alignment. Physical Biology, 20(6), article no. 066006.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1478-3975/ad0276

Abstract

The technique presented here identifies tethered mould designs, optimised for growing cultured tissue with very highly-aligned cells. It is based on a microscopic biophysical model for polarised cellular hydrogels. There is an unmet need for tools to assist mould and scaffold designs for the growth of cultured tissues with bespoke cell organisations, that can be used in applications such as regenerative medicine, drug screening and cultured meat. High-throughput biophysical calculations were made for a wide variety of computer-generated moulds, with cell-matrix interactions and tissue-scale forces simulated using a contractile network dipole orientation model. Elongated moulds with central broadening and one of the following tethering strategies are found to lead to highly-aligned cells: (1) tethers placed within the bilateral protrusions resulting from an indentation on the short edge, to guide alignment (2) tethers placed within a single vertex to shrink the available space for misalignment. As such, proof-of-concept has been shown for mould and tethered scaffold design based on a recently developed biophysical model. The approach is applicable to a broad range of cell types that align in tissues and is extensible for 3D scaffolds.

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