Direct Laser Writing of Tubular Microtowers for 3D Culture of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neuronal Cells

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    35 Citations (Scopus)


    As the complex structure of nervous tissue cannot be mimicked in two-dimensional (2D) cultures, the development of three-dimensional (3D) neuronal cell culture platforms is a topical issue in the field of neuroscience and neural tissue engineering. Computer-assisted laser-based fabrication techniques such as direct laser writing by two-photon polymerization (2PP-DLW) offer a versatile tool to fabricate 3D cell culture platforms with highly ordered geometries in the size scale of natural 3D cell environments. In this study, we present the design and 2PP-DLW fabrication process of a novel 3D neuronal cell culture platform based on tubular microtowers. The platform facilitates efficient long-term 3D culturing of human neuronal cells and supports neurite orientation and 3D network formation. Microtower designs both with or without intraluminal guidance cues and/or openings in the tower wall are designed and successfully fabricated from Ormocomp. Three of the microtower designs are chosen for the final culture platform: a design with openings in the wall and intralumial guidance cues (webs and pillars), a design with openings but without intraluminal structures, and a plain cylinder design. The proposed culture platform offers a promising concept for future 3D cultures in the field of neuroscience.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25717-25730
    Number of pages14
    JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    Issue number31
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • 3D culture platform
    • Journal Article
    • direct laser writing
    • microstructures
    • neurons
    • orientation of neurites
    • two photon polymerization

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 2


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