Self-Folded Hydrogel Tubes for Implantable Muscular Tissue Scaffolds

Lorenzo Vannozzi, Immihan Ceren Yasa, Hakan Ceylan, Arianna Menciassi, Leonardo Ricotti, Metin Sitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Programming materials with tunable physical and chemical interactions among its components pave the way of generating 3D functional active microsystems with various potential applications in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and soft robotics. Here, the development of a recapitulated fascicle-like implantable muscle construct by programmed self-folding of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate hydrogels is reported. The system comprises two stacked layers, each with differential swelling degrees, stiffnesses, and thicknesses in 2D, which folds into a 3D tube together. Inside the tubes, muscle cell adhesion and their spatial alignment are controlled. Both skeletal and cardiac muscle cells also exhibit high viability, and cardiac myocytes preserve their contractile function over the course of 7 d. Integration of biological cells with smart, shape-changing materials could give rise to the development of new cellular constructs for hierarchical tissue assembly, drug testing platforms, and biohybrid actuators that can perform sophisticated tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700377
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • biohybrid
  • biomaterials
  • hydrogel
  • self-folding
  • synthetic muscle tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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