Composite ECM-alginate microfibers produced by microfluidics as scaffolds with biomineralization potential

Marco Angelozzi, Martina Miotto, Letizia Penolazzi, Stefania Mazzitelli, Timothy Keane, Stephen F. Badylak, Roberta Piva*, Claudio Nastruzzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A novel approach to produce artificial bone composites (microfibers) with distinctive features mimicking natural tissue was investigated. Currently proposed inorganic materials (e.g. apatite matrixes) lack self-assembly and thereby limit interactions between cells and the material. The present work investigates the feasibility of creating "bio-inspired materials" specifically designed to overcome certain limitations inherent to current biomaterials. We examined the dimensions, morphology, and constitutive features of a composite hydrogel which combined an alginate based microfiber with a gelatin solution or a particulate form of urinary bladder matrix (UBM). The effectiveness of the composite microfibers to induce and modulate osteoblastic differentiation in three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds without altering the viability and morphological characteristics of the cells was investigated. The present study describes a novel alginate microfiber production method with the use of microfluidics. The microfluidic procedure allowed for precise tuning of microfibers which resulted in enhanced viability and function of embedded cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alginate
  • Microfibers
  • Microfluidics
  • Osteoblastic differentiation
  • UBM


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