A spheroid (a multicellular aggregate) is regarded as a good model of living tissues in the human body. Despite the significant advancement in the spheroid cultures, a perfusable vascular network in the spheroids remains a critical challenge for long-term culture required to maintain and develop their functions, such as protein expressions and morphogenesis. The protocol presents a novel method to integrate a perfusable vascular network within the spheroid in a microfluidic device. To induce a perfusable vascular network in the spheroid, angiogenic sprouts connected to microchannels were guided to the spheroid by utilizing angiogenic factors from human lung fibroblasts cultured in the spheroid. The angiogenic sprouts reached the spheroid, merged with the endothelial cells co-cultured in the spheroid, and formed a continuous vascular network. The vascular network could perfuse the interior of the spheroid without any leakage. The constructed vascular network may be further used as a route for supply of nutrients and removal of waste products, mimicking blood circulation in vivo. The method provides a new platform in spheroid culture toward better recapitulation of living tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)