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Janus magnetic cellular spheroids for vascular tissue engineering

Mattix, Brandon M., Olsen, Timothy R., Casco, Megan, Reese, Laura, Poole, John T., Zhang, Jing, Visconti, Richard P., Simionescu, Agneta, Simionescu, Dan T., Alexis, Frank
Biomaterials 2014 v.35 no.3 pp. 949-960
adverse effects, cell aggregates, drugs, magnetism, medicine, nanoparticles, phenotype, tissue engineering, tissues, viability
Cell aggregates, or spheroids, have been used as building blocks to fabricate scaffold-free tissues that can closely mimic the native three-dimensional in vivo environment for broad applications including regenerative medicine and high throughput testing of drugs. The incorporation of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) into spheroids permits the manipulation of spheroids into desired shapes, patterns, and tissues using magnetic forces. Current strategies incorporating MNPs often involve cellular uptake, and should therefore be avoided because it induces adverse effects on cell activity, viability, and phenotype. Here, we report a Janus structure of magnetic cellular spheroids (JMCS) with spatial control of MNPs to form two distinct domains: cells and extracellular MNPs. This separation of cells and MNPs within magnetic cellular spheroids was successfully incorporated into cellular spheroids with various cellular and extracellular compositions and contents. The amount of cells that internalized MNPs was quantified and showed that JMCSs resulted in significantly lower internalization (35%) compared to uptake spheroids (83%, p < 0.05). Furthermore, the addition of MNPs to cellular spheroids using the Janus method has no adverse effects on cellular viability up to seven weeks, with spheroids maintaining at least 82% viability over 7 weeks when compared to control spheroids without MNPs. By safely incorporating MNPs into cellular spheroids, results demonstrated that JMCSs were capable of magnetic manipulation, and that magnetic forces used during magnetic force assembly mediate fusion into controlled patterns and complex tissues. Finally, JMCSs were assembled and fused into a vascular tissue construct 5 mm in diameter using magnetic force assembly.