A review of microfabrication and hydrogel engineering for micro-organs on chips

Marine Verhulsel, Maéva Vignes, Stéphanie Descroix, Laurent Malaquin, Danijela M. Vignjevic, Jean Louis Viovy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This review highlights recent trends towards the development of invitro multicellular systems with definite architectures, or "organs on chips". First, the chemical composition and mechanical properties of the scaffold have to be consistent with the anatomical environment invivo. In this perspective, the flourishing interest in hydrogels as cellular substrates has highlighted the main parameters directing cell differentiation that need to be recapitulated in artificial matrix. Another scaffold requirement is to act as a template to guide tissue morphogenesis. Therefore specific microfabrication techniques are required to spatially pattern the environment at microscale. 2D patterning is particularly efficient for organizing planar polarized cell types such as endothelial cells or neurons. However, most organs are characterized by specific sub units organized in three dimensions at the cellular level. The reproduction of such 3D patterns invitro is necessary for cells to fully differentiate, assemble and coordinate to form a coherent micro-tissue. These physiological microstructures are often integrated in microfluidic devices whose controlled environments provide the cell culture with more life-like conditions than traditional cell culture methods. Such systems have a wide range of applications, for fundamental research, as tools to accelerate drug development and testing, and finally, for regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1816-1832
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D scaffold
  • Artificial extracellular matrix
  • Hydrogel
  • Micro-environment
  • Physiology
  • Tissue engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A review of microfabrication and hydrogel engineering for micro-organs on chips'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this