Enhanced vascularization at sensor interfaces can improve long-term function. Fibrin, a natural polymer, has shown promise as a biomaterial for sensor coating due to its ability to sustain endothelial cell growth and promote local vascularization. However, the culture of cells, particularly endothelial cells (EC), within 3D scaffolds for more than a few days is challenging due to rapid loss of EC viability. In this manuscript, a robust method for developing fibrin microbead scaffolds for long-term culture of encapsulated ECs is described. Fibrin microbeads are formed using sodium alginate as a structural template. The size, swelling and structural properties of the microbeads were varied with needle gauge and composition and concentration of the pre-gel solution. Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) were suspended in the fibrin beads and cultured within a perfusion bioreactor system. The perfusion bioreactor enhanced ECFCs viability and genome stability in fibrin beads relative to static culture. Perfusion bioreactors enable 3D culture of ECs within fibrin beads for potential application as a sensor coating.
- implantable sensors
- long-term sensors
- tissue engineering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering