Layer-by-layer collagen deposition in microfluidic devices for microtissue stabilization

William J. McCarty, Ljupcho Prodanov, Shyam Sundhar Bale, Abhinav Bhushan, Rohit Jindal, Martin L. Yarmush, O. Berk Usta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although microfluidics provides exquisite control of the cellular microenvironment, culturing cells within microfluidic devices can be challenging. 3D culture of cells in collagen type I gels helps to stabilize cell morphology and function, which is necessary for creating microfluidic tissue models in microdevices. Translating traditional 3D culture techniques for tissue culture plates to microfluidic devices is often difficult because of the limited channel dimensions. In this method, we describe a technique for modifying native type I collagen to generate polycationic and polyanionic collagen solutions that can be used with layer-by-layer deposition to create ultrathin collagen assemblies on top of cells cultured in microfluidic devices. These thin collagen layers stabilize cell morphology and function, as shown using primary hepatocytes as an example cell, allowing for the long term culture of microtissues in microfluidic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53078
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number103
StatePublished - Sep 29 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioengineering
  • Collagen
  • Hepatocyte
  • Issue 103
  • Layer-by-layer deposition
  • Liver microtissue
  • Methylation
  • Microfluidics
  • Succinylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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