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Bioinspired 3D microprinted cell scaffolds: Integration of graph theory to recapitulate complex network wiring in lymph nodes

Chin, Matthew HW; Reid, Barry; Lachina, Veronika; Acton, Sophie E; Coppens, Marc-Olivier; (2023) Bioinspired 3D microprinted cell scaffolds: Integration of graph theory to recapitulate complex network wiring in lymph nodes. Biotechnology Journal , Article e2300359. 10.1002/biot.202300359. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Physical networks are ubiquitous in nature, but many of them possess a complex organisational structure that is difficult to recapitulate in artificial systems. This is especially the case in biomedical and tissue engineering, where the microstructural details of 3D cell scaffolds are important. Studies of biological networks - such as fibroblastic reticular cell (FRC) networks - have revealed the crucial role of network topology in a range of biological functions. However, cell scaffolds are rarely analysed, or designed, using graph theory. To understand how networks affect adhered cells, 3D culture platforms capturing the complex topological properties of biologically relevant networks would be needed. In this work, we took inspiration from the small-world organisation (high clustering and low path length) of FRC networks to design cell scaffolds. An algorithmic toolset was created to generate the networks and process them to improve their 3D printability. We employed tools from graph theory to show that the networks were small-world (omega factor, ω = -0.10 ± 0.02; small-world propensity, SWP = 0.74 ± 0.01). 3D microprinting was employed to physicalise networks as scaffolds, which supported the survival of FRCs. This work, therefore, represents a bioinspired, graph theory-driven approach to control the networks of microscale cell niches. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Bioinspired 3D microprinted cell scaffolds: Integration of graph theory to recapitulate complex network wiring in lymph nodes
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/biot.202300359
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/biot.202300359
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by Wiley-VCH GmbH. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Additiave manufacturing, Algorithmic design, Bioengineering, Biomaterials, Nature inspired engineering
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Lab for Molecular Cell Bio MRC-UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10182426
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