Formation of cell spheroids using Standing Surface Acoustic Wave (SSAW)

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Yannapol Sriphutkiat, Surasak Kasetsirikul, Yufeng Zhou


3D bioprinting becomes one of the popular approaches in the tissue engineering. In this emerging application, bioink is crucial for fabrication and functionality of constructed tissue. The use of cell spheroids as bioink can enhance the cell-cell interaction and subsequently the growth and differentiation of cells in the 3D printed construct with the minimal amount of other biomaterials. However, the conventional methods of preparing the cell spheroids have several limitations, such as long culture time, low-throughput, and medium modification. In this study, the formation of cell spheroids by SSAW was evaluated both numerically and experimentally in order to overcome the aforementioned limitations. The effects of excitation frequencies on the cell accumulation time, diameter of formed cell spheroids, and subsequently, the growth and viability of cell spheroids in the culture media over time were studied. Using the high-frequency (24.9 MHz) excitation, cell accumulation time to the pressure nodes could be reduced in comparison to that of the low-frequency (10.4 MHz) excitation, but in a smaller spheroid size. SSAW excitation at both frequencies does not affect the cell viabilities up to 7 days, > 90% with no statistical difference compared with the control group. In summary, SSAW can effectively prepare the cell spheroids as bioink for the future 3D bioprinting and various biotechnology applications (e.g., pharmaceutical drug screening and tissue engineering).


standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW); cell spheroid; cell viability; bioink

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