Symposium BM05—Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for Emulating Biological Tissues
It is increasingly recognized that conventional oversimplified cell cultures based on the conventional planar, static format cannot reproduce the functions of complex biological tissues. Miniaturized biomimetic tissue models fabricated using advanced materials, when interconnected together in a microfluidic circuit, can faithfully recapitulate the structure, physiology, compartmentalization, and interconnectivity of human organ systems. These systems potentially enable accurate prediction of human responses towards pharmaceutical compounds, and the development and testing of nanomedicines, chemicals, and even biological species. In the past decade, advances in materials and microfluidics technologies have facilitated the development of tissue models as simple, reproducible, and scalable platforms that recapitulate tissue-level functions, by incorporation of biological materials such as cells, their associated matrices, and microenvironmental cues. The utilization of fluids in micro-sized channels is cost-effective due to reductions in the amounts of cells, animals, and reagents used, making it potentially scalable. In a related way, different biofabrication techniques have enabled the creation of biomimetic microenvironments to emulate architectural fidelity, apply shear stress, strain, and/or interfaces on different biological materials. The advances in materials will continue to drive the future biological relevance of biomimetic tissue models by contributing to better extracellular matrix-mimicking cues, while biofabrication will enable improved structural control and dynamics required for the successful creation of the complex human tissue microenvironments. This symposium will cover interdisciplinary topics spanning from materials science, physics, chemistry, engineering, biological sciences, and medicine with an emphasis on advanced manufacturing technologies for generating microphysiological systems, for applications in both fundamental studies and translational research.