Characterization of a honeycomb-like scaffold with dielectrophoresis-based patterning for tissue engineering

Zhijie Huan, Kar Hang Chu, Jie Yang, Dong Sun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Seeding and patterning of cells with an engineered scaffold is a critical process in artificial tissue construction and regeneration. To date, many engineered scaffolds exhibit simple intrinsic designs, which fail to mimic the geometrical complexity of native tissues. In this study, a novel scaffold that can automatically seed cells into multilayer honeycomb patterns for bone tissue engineering application was designed and examined. Methods: The scaffold incorporated dielectrophoresis for noncontact manipulation of cells and intrinsic honeycomb architectures were integrated in each scaffold layer. When a voltage was supplied to the stacked scaffold layers, three-dimensional electric fields were generated, thereby manipulating cells to form into honeycomb-like cellular patterns for subsequent culture. Results: The biocompatibility of the scaffold material was confirmed through the cell viability test. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the cell viability during DEP patterning at different voltage amplitudes, frequencies, and manipulating time. Three different mammalian cells were examined and the effects of the cell size and the cell concentration on the resultant cellular patterns were evaluated. Conclusion: Results showed that the proposed scaffold structure was able to construct multilayer honeycomb cellular patterns in a manner similar to the natural tissue. Significance: This honeycomb-like scaffold and the dielectrophoresis-based patterning technique examined in this study could provide the field with a promising tool to enhance seeding and patterning of a wide range of cells for the development of high-quality artificial tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7482836
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Cell patterning
  • cell viability
  • dielectrophoresis
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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