Double-layer perfusable collagen microtube device for heterogeneous cell culture

Shun Itai, Hisatsugu Tajima, Hiroaki Onoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In vitro perfusable 3D tissue models mimic in vivo tissues and have several benefits in drug testing. However, processes used to fabricate these models often tend to be complicated. Here, we present a double-layer perfusable collagen tube device for multilayered in vitro 3D cell culture. The device is simply made by the repetition of a molding process. The thicknesses of the collagen layers in the tube device can be flexibly designed, and heterogeneous cell types can be co-cultured in/on each collagen layer. Moreover, while our collagen tube is directly attached to silicone tubes, the collagen tube can easily be connected to an external pump system for perfusion culture. We fabricated six different sizes of collagen devices (inner diameter approximately 300-1000 μm) using different molds, and successfully controlled the coefficients of variation to be below 5% for the diameters of each layer for all six device sizes. The device is strong enough to manipulate with tweezers, and can remain stable for more than 3 months in a medium. For the cell culture, we successfully and correctly encapsulated cells in the layer shape at the desired position, and confirmed cell migration. Using the perfusion culture, we demonstrated that the alignments of the HUVEC actin filaments become parallel to the flow direction. We believe that our device could advance the easy fabrication of various tissue models (that is, models mimicking in vivo tissues). In particular, the device could help fabricate vascularized tissue models, and contribute to the development of pharmacokinetic testing platforms and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015010
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan


  • 3D tissue engineering
  • Collagen
  • Microtube
  • Molding
  • Perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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