Layer-by-layer approach for a uniformed fabrication of a cell patterned vessel-like construct

Camila A. Wilkens, Christopher J. Rivet, Tamara L. Akentjew, Julian Alverio, Maroun Khoury, Juan Pablo Acevedo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Successful tissue engineered small diameter blood vessels (SDBV) require manufacturing systems capable of precisely controlling different key elements, such as material composition, geometry and spatial location of specialized biomaterials and cells types. We report in this work an automated methodology that enables the manufacture of multilayer cylindrical constructs for SDBV fabrication that uses a layer-by-layer deposition approach while controlling variables such as dipping and spinning speed of a rod and biomaterial viscosity. Different biomaterials including methacrylated gelatin, alginate and chitosan were tested using this procedure to build different parts of the constructs. The system was capable of controlling dimensions of lumen from 0.5 mm up to 6 mm diameter and individual layers from 1 μm up to 400 μm thick. A cellular component was successfully added to the biomaterial in the absence of significant cytotoxic effect which was assessed by viability and proliferation assays. Additionally, cells showed a homogenous distribution with well-defined concentric patterns across the multilayer vessel grafts. The challenging generation of inner endothelial cells of approximately 20-30 μm of thickness was achieved. Preliminary experimental evidences of microstructural alignment of the biomaterial were obtained when the dipping approach was combined with the rod rotation. The study demonstrated the wide versatility and scalability of the automated system to easily and rapidly fabricate complex cellularized multilayer vascular grafts with structural configuration that resembles natural blood vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015001
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially funded by Universidad de los Andes PMI funding program, UAN1301, granted by the Chilean Ministry of Education, as well as by Chile's Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica grants FONDEF IDeA ID15I10545 and FONDECYT Postdoctoral 3160680.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • CNC device
  • cell patterning
  • small diameter blood vessel
  • tissue engineering


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