Edinburgh Research Explorer

Chitosan hydrogel micro-bio-devices with complex capillary patterns via reactive-diffusive self-assembly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Vahid Adibnia
  • Marziye Mirbagheri
  • Pierre-Luc Latreille
  • Jimmy Faivre
  • Bruno Cecyre
  • Jean-Francois Bouchard
  • Vincent Arnaud Martinez
  • Thierry Delair
  • Laurent David
  • Dae Kun Hwang
  • Xavier Banquy

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Early online date29 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


We present chitosan hydrogel microfluidic devices with self-assembled complex microcapillary patterns, conveniently formed by a diffusion-reaction process. These patterns in chitosan hydrogels are formed by a single-step procedure involving diffusion of a gelation agent into the polymer solution inside a microfluidic channel. By changing the channel geometry, it is demonstrated how to control capillary length, trajectory and branching. Diffusion of nanoparticles (NPs) in the capillary network is used as a model to effectively mimic the transport of nano-objects in vascularized tissues. Gold NPs diffusion is measured locally in the hydrogel chips, and during their two-step transport through the capillaries to the gel matrix and eventually to embedded cell clusters in the gel. In addition, the quantitative analyses reported in this study provide novel opportunities for theoretical investigation of capillary formation and propagation during diffusive gelation of biopolymers.

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