Author's Final Manuscript
Engineering complex tissues represents an extraordinary challenge and, to date, there have been few strategies developed that can easily recapitulate native‐like cell and biofactor gradients in 3D materials. This is true despite the fact that mimicry of these gradients may be essential for the functionality of engineered graft tissues. Here, a non‐traditional magnetics‐based approach is developed to predictably position naturally diamagnetic objects in 3D hydrogels. Rather than magnetizing the objects within the hydrogel, the magnetic susceptibility of the surrounding hydrogel precursor solution is enhanced. In this way, a range of diamagnetic objects (e.g., polystyrene beads, drug delivery microcapsules, and living cells) are patterned in response to a brief exposure to a magnetic field. Upon photo‐crosslinking the hydrogel precursor, object positioning is maintained, and the magnetic contrast agent diffuses out of the hydrogel, supporting long‐term construct viability. This approach is applied to engineer cartilage constructs with a depth‐dependent cellularity mirroring that of native tissue. These are thought to be the first results showing that magnetically unaltered cells can be magneto‐patterned in hydrogels and cultured to generate heterogeneous tissues. This work provides a foundation for the formation of opposing magnetic‐susceptibility‐based gradients within a single continuous material.
Zlotnick, H. M., Clark, A. T., Gullbrand, S. E., Carey, J. L., Cheng, X. M. and Mauck, R. L. 2020. "Magneto‐Driven Gradients of Diamagnetic Objects for Engineering Complex Tissues." Advanced Materials 2005030.