Surface Acoustic Waves Grant Superior Spatial Control of Cells Embedded in Hydrogel Fibers

James P. Lata, Feng Guo, Jinshan Guo, Po Hsun Huang, Jian Yang, Tony Jun Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


A technique which can control the spatial distribution of cells and objects within photosensitive hydrogel fibers for use as a functional material in tissue engineering and cellular biology research was studied. The power of surface acoustic waves (SAWs) was demonstrated by patterning particles and cells within highly viscous solutions and through thick plastic tubing walls, allowing for an inexpensive and reusable technology for disposable superstrate devices. Patterning was accomplished with different tubing materials and hydrogel matrices, demonstrating the versatility of the technology to fit different application parameters. The polymer solutions were polymerized using UV light and extracted with cell patterns preserved throughout the procedure. The entire process was proven safe for the cells as there was no loss in short-term viability. Long-term viability displayed over 90% of viable cells out to 10 h in culture conditions. Last, patterned fibers were manually manipulated into simple and complex architectures, demonstrating how the patterns could be used with different cell types to mimic different physiological tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8632-8638
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number39
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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