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Regeneration-on-chip: Microfluidic technology in regenerative medicine

Tissues and organs are prone to damage by ageing, disease, or trauma. Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational medicine that focuses on regrowth, repairing, or replacing a damaged tissue or organ to restore its function. Regenerative medicine is a multidisciplinary field of research that takes advantage of therapeutic stem cells and tissue engineering methods to reach its goal. The advent of microfluidics technology and the development of novel microfluidic techniques have been able to give a boost to regenerative medicine research.

Microfluidics role in regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine deals both with providing an understanding of the causes of the damage to the tissues as well as methods for restoring the functionality of the tissue and the mechanisms by which stem cells repair the tissue. More accurate disease, trauma, or degenerative models can give us a better understanding of the causes of the tissue malfunction. In this regard, microfluidics application is crucial. Microfluidics is capable of providing a highly controlled environment for cell and tissue culture.

Microfluidics has empowered regenerative medicine in the following aspects:

  • Providing a biologically relevant microenvironment for cell and tissue culture
  • Creating soluble gradients
  • Ease of use of biomaterials and hydrogels as tissue constructs
  • Chemical and mechanical signalling
  • Real-time analysis using embedded sensors

 

Various organs have been the target of microfluidic regenerative medicine in recent years. These regeneration-on-chip methods include:

  • Neural regeneration
  • Vascular regeneration
  • Musculoskeletal regeneration
  • Kidney regeneration
  • Lung regeneration
  • Heart regeneration

Further Reading

Is your research focused on Regeneration-on-a-chip? Learn more about the perspectives on the use of microfluidics in regenerative medicine.