Muscle-powered, biological, microelectro-mechanical system is promising for actuator and biosensor applications. Functional conjugation between the cells, tissues, and biomolecules to the microdevice is crucial for this application. Bioprinting as an enabling technology possesses the advantages of high throughput, digital control, and highly accurate delivery of various biological factors to the desired locations for numerous applications such as 3D tissue fabrication. We have now evaluated the feasibility of the precise placement of mouse myoblasts onto micro-sized cantilevers. The evenly aligned printed cells fused with each other and formed mature myotubes after only 4 days. In contrast, it took more than 14 days for randomly deposited cells to do so. The printed myotubes were functional and responded to the electrical stimulation synchronously. Furthermore, the integrated Bio-MEMS device responded to the chemical stimulation spontaneously which demonstrated the potential as a functional biosensor. The contractility of the system was recovered quickly after the removal of the chemical stimulation, which indicated the flexibility of this system and the recycling potential.
Cui, Xiaofeng, Guifang Gao, Yongjun Qiu