A Multimaterial Microphysiological Platform Enabled by Rapid Casting of Elastic Microwires
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Due to escalating drug developmental costs and limitations of cardiotoxicity screening, there is an urgent need to develop robust in vitro 3D tissue culture platforms that can both facilitate the culture of human cardiac tissues and provide noninvasive functional readouts predictive of cardiotoxicity in clinical settings. However, such platforms commonly require complex fabrication procedures that are difficult to scale up to high-throughput testing platforms. Here, innovative multimaterial processing into a scalable and functional platform is proposed in the format of a 96-well plate. Three classes of materials are integrated into the platform. An array of soft elastic microwires is used both as anchors for tissue formation as well as sensors for recording tissue contraction. Conductive carbon electrodes are embedded into the plate to drive electrical stimulation for tissue maturation and pace tissue contraction during drug testing. The bulk of the device is made of rigid polystyrene plastic to eliminate drug-absorbing polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The platform has higher throughput than the current state-of-the-art devices, at a significantly reduced cost of manufacturing and tissue production.
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