Platform technology for scalable assembly of instantaneously functional mosaic tissues
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Engineering mature tissues requires a guided assembly of cells into organized three-dimensional (3D) structures with multiple cell types. Guidance is usually achieved by microtopographical scaffold cues or by cell-gel compaction. The assembly of individual units into functional 3D tissues is often time-consuming, relying on cell ingrowth and matrix remodeling, whereas disassembly requires an invasive method that includes either matrix dissolution or mechanical cutting. We invented Tissue-Velcro, a bio-scaffold with a microfabricated hook and loop system. The assembly of Tissue-Velcro preserved the guided cell alignment realized by the topographical features in the 2D scaffold mesh and allowed for the instant establishment of coculture conditions by spatially defined stacking of cardiac cell layers or through endothelial cell coating. The assembled cardiac 3D tissue constructs were immediately functional as measured by their ability to contract in response to electrical field stimulation. Facile, on-demand tissue disassembly was demonstrated while preserving the structure, physical integrity, and beating function of individual layers.