Human airway-like multilayered tissue on 3D-TIPS printed thermoresponsive elastomer/collagen hybrid scaffolds

Linxiao Wu, Adrián Magaz, Suguo Huo, Arnold Darbyshire, Marilena Loizidou, Mark Emberton, Martin Birchall, Wenhui Song

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Developing a biologically representative complex tissue of the respiratory airway is challenging, however, beneficial for treatment of respiratory diseases, a common medical condition representing a leading cause of death in the world. This in vitro study reports a successful development of synthetic human tracheobronchial epithelium based on interpenetrated hierarchical networks composed of a reversely 3D printed porous structure of a thermoresponsive stiffness-softening elastomer nanohybrid impregnated with collagen nanofibrous hydrogel. Human bronchial epithelial cells (hBEpiCs) were able to attach and grow into an epithelial monolayer on the hybrid scaffolds co-cultured with either human bronchial fibroblasts (hBFs) or human bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs), with substantial enhancement of mucin expression, ciliation, well-constructed intercellular tight junctions and adherens junctions. The multi-layered co-culture 3D scaffolds consisting of a top monolayer of differentiated epithelium, with either hBFs or hBM-MSCs proliferating within the hyperelastic nanohybrid scaffold underneath, created a tissue analogue of the upper respiratory tract, validating these 3D printed guided scaffolds as a platform to support co-culture and cellular organization. In particular, hBM-MSCs in the co-culture system promoted an overall matured physiological tissue analogue of the respiratory system, a promising synthetic tissue for drug discovery, tracheal repair and reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Early online date11 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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