ACS applied materials & interfaces

Fabrication of Collagen Gel Hollow Fibers by Covalent Cross-Linking for Construction of Bioengineering Renal Tubules.

PMID 26280545


Collagen, the most used natural biomacromolecule, has been extensively utilized to make scaffolds for cell cultures in tissue engineering, but has never been fabricated into the configuration of a hollow fiber (HF) for cell culture due to its poor mechanical properties. In this study, renal tubular cell-laden collagen hollow fiber (Col HF) was fabricated by dissolving sacrificial Ca-alginate cores from collagen shells strengthened by carbodiimide cross-linking. The inner/outer diameters of the Col HF were precisely controlled by the flow rates of core alginate/shell collagen solution in the microfluidic device. As found, the renal tubular cells self-assembled into renal tubules with diameters of 50-200 μm post to the culture in Col HF for 10 days. According to the 3D reconstructed confocal images or HE staining, the renal cells appeared as a tight tubular monolayer on the Col HF inner surface, sustaining more 3D cell morphology than the cell layer on the 2D flat collagen gel surface. Moreover, compared with the cultures in either a Transwell or polymer HF membrane, the renal tubules in Col HF exhibited at least 1-fold higher activity on brush border enzymes of alkaline phosphatase and γ-glutamyltransferase, consistent with their gene expressions. The enhancement occurred similarly on multidrug resistance protein 2 and glucose uptake. Such bioengineered renal tubules in Col HF will present great potential as alternatives to synthetic HF in both clinical use and pharmaceutical investigation.

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