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Special Issue "Microfluidic-Assisted Synthesis and Modification of Polymeric Materials"

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A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Matthias P. Lutolf

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Institute of Bioengineering, Station 15, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomolecular hydrogels; stimuli-sensitive materials; proteolytically degradable materials; novel conjugation chemistries; materials for tissue engineering and cell culture; 2D and 3D patterning of biomaterials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The exquisite control of the dynamics of fluids at the micrometer and sub-micrometer scale in microfluidic devices has opened the door for the highly precise synthesis and modification of polymeric materials such as microparticles or biomimetic materials substrates. This special issue focuses on emerging efforts to utilize microfluidic technology in combination with polymer chemistry and physics to build advanced materials with tailor-made properties such as size, shape, elasticity, bioactivity or degradation kinetics. These systems hold great promise for biomedicine as they could overcome key materials challenges imposed by applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering.

Prof. Dr. Matthias P. Lutolf
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • microfluidics
  • polymers
  • polymer conjugates
  • microparticles
  • hydrogels
  • drug delivery
  • tissue engineering

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview Microscale Strategies for Generating Cell-Encapsulating Hydrogels
Polymers 2012, 4(3), 1554-1579; doi:10.3390/polym4031554
Received: 4 May 2012 / Revised: 28 July 2012 / Accepted: 2 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (3570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydrogels in which cells are encapsulated are of great potential interest for tissue engineering applications. These gels provide a structure inside which cells can spread and proliferate. Such structures benefit from controlled microarchitectures that can affect the behavior of the enclosed cells. Microfabrication-based
[...] Read more.
Hydrogels in which cells are encapsulated are of great potential interest for tissue engineering applications. These gels provide a structure inside which cells can spread and proliferate. Such structures benefit from controlled microarchitectures that can affect the behavior of the enclosed cells. Microfabrication-based techniques are emerging as powerful approaches to generate such cell-encapsulating hydrogel structures. In this paper we introduce common hydrogels and their crosslinking methods and review the latest microscale approaches for generation of cell containing gel particles. We specifically focus on microfluidics-based methods and on techniques such as micromolding and electrospinning. Full article
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Open AccessReview Polymer-Based Microfluidic Devices for Pharmacy, Biology and Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2012, 4(3), 1349-1398; doi:10.3390/polym4031349
Received: 2 March 2012 / Revised: 4 May 2012 / Accepted: 18 June 2012 / Published: 3 July 2012
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (735 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews microfluidic technologies with emphasis on applications in the fields of pharmacy, biology, and tissue engineering. Design and fabrication of microfluidic systems are discussed with respect to specific biological concerns, such as biocompatibility and cell viability. Recent applications and developments on
[...] Read more.
This paper reviews microfluidic technologies with emphasis on applications in the fields of pharmacy, biology, and tissue engineering. Design and fabrication of microfluidic systems are discussed with respect to specific biological concerns, such as biocompatibility and cell viability. Recent applications and developments on genetic analysis, cell culture, cell manipulation, biosensors, pathogen detection systems, diagnostic devices, high-throughput screening and biomaterial synthesis for tissue engineering are presented. The pros and cons of materials like polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), glass, and silicon are discussed in terms of biocompatibility and fabrication aspects. Microfluidic devices are widely used in life sciences. Here, commercialization and research trends of microfluidics as new, easy to use, and cost-effective measurement tools at the cell/tissue level are critically reviewed. Full article
Open AccessReview Microfluidics-Nano-Integration for Synthesis and Sensing
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 1278-1310; doi:10.3390/polym4021278
Received: 29 May 2012 / Accepted: 13 June 2012 / Published: 20 June 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (4675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The recent progress and achievements in the development of preparation of nano and microparticles in a microfluidic environment is reviewed. Microfluidics exploit fluid mechanics to create particles with a narrow range of sizes and offers a finely controllable route to tune the shape
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The recent progress and achievements in the development of preparation of nano and microparticles in a microfluidic environment is reviewed. Microfluidics exploit fluid mechanics to create particles with a narrow range of sizes and offers a finely controllable route to tune the shape and composition of nanomaterials. The advantages of both continuous flow- and droplet-based synthesis of polymers and nanoparticles, in comparison with the traditional stirred flasks methods are discussed in detail by using numerous recent examples from the literature as well as from the authors’ work. The controllability of the size distribution of the particles is discussed in terms of the fabrication approach and the characteristics of the microfluidic reactors. A special attention is paid to metal-polymer nanocomposites prepared through microfluidic routes and their application in bio-sensing. Directions for future development of microfluidic synthesis of high quality nanoparticles are discussed. Full article
Open AccessReview Microfluidic-Based Synthesis of Hydrogel Particles for Cell Microencapsulation and Cell-Based Drug Delivery
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 1084-1108; doi:10.3390/polym4021084
Received: 14 March 2012 / Revised: 17 April 2012 / Accepted: 17 April 2012 / Published: 23 April 2012
Cited by 38 | PDF Full-text (1421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Encapsulation of cells in hydrogel particles has been demonstrated as an effective approach to deliver therapeutic agents. The properties of hydrogel particles, such as the chemical composition, size, porosity, and number of cells per particle, affect cellular functions and consequently play important roles
[...] Read more.
Encapsulation of cells in hydrogel particles has been demonstrated as an effective approach to deliver therapeutic agents. The properties of hydrogel particles, such as the chemical composition, size, porosity, and number of cells per particle, affect cellular functions and consequently play important roles for the cell-based drug delivery. Microfluidics has shown unparalleled advantages for the synthesis of polymer particles and been utilized to produce hydrogel particles with a well-defined size, shape and morphology. Most importantly, during the encapsulation process, microfluidics can control the number of cells per particle and the overall encapsulation efficiency. Therefore, microfluidics is becoming the powerful approach for cell microencapsulation and construction of cell-based drug delivery systems. In this article, I summarize and discuss microfluidic approaches that have been developed recently for the synthesis of hydrogel particles and encapsulation of cells. I will start by classifying different types of hydrogel material, including natural biopolymers and synthetic polymers that are used for cell encapsulation, and then focus on the current status and challenges of microfluidic-based approaches. Finally, applications of cell-containing hydrogel particles for cell-based drug delivery, particularly for cancer therapy, are discussed. Full article
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