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Microfluidic and 3D bioprinting routes for the development of macrophage encapsulation systems based on hybrid gellan and fibrin hydrogels

Grant number: 20/02313-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Lucimara Gaziola de la Torre
Grantee:Ana Leticia Rodrigues Costa Lelis
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/20206-8 - Modulation of monocytes, macrophages and pericytes by the colony stimulating factor genes to treat murine limb ischemia, AP.TEM


This research project aims to develop cell delivery systems based on biocompatible polymeric matrices by microfluidic technology and 3D bioprinting. A systematic study will evaluate the potential of gellan gum and fibrin to form hybrid hydrogels in order to act as macrophage encapsulation systems, attending their structural and biological needs. The development of hybrid hydrogels is a strategy to overcome the limitations associated with the use of natural polymers, integrating their physical, chemical and biological advantages, and enhances the hydrogel's mechanical performance. In the first step, the composition of the hybrid hydrogels for encapsulating the macrophages will be determined. The dripping method will be used to obtain hydrogels by different gelling methods to be further characterized in terms of their physical, chemical, and biological properties. In the second step, microfluidic technology and 3D bioprinting will be used as new technological routes for obtaining biopolymeric matrices, microgels and scaffolds. These techniques allow us to precisely control process, leading to the production hydrogels with more controlled size, shape, morphology, and size polydispersity than conventional gelation methods and with high cell encapsulation efficiency. The execution of this project aims to overcome some challenges associated with the use of conventional hydrogels, using biopolymers and little-explored technologies for the production of attractive bio-structures and their application in cell therapy. (AU)