Bacteria-laden microgels as autonomous three-dimensional environments for stem cell engineering

Witte, K. and Rodrigo-Navarro, A. and Salmeron-Sanchez, M. (2019) Bacteria-laden microgels as autonomous three-dimensional environments for stem cell engineering. Materials Today Bio, 2. 100011. ISSN 2590-0064 (

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A one-step microfluidic system is developed in this study which enables the encapsulation of stem cells and genetically engineered non-pathogenic bacteria into a so-called three-dimensional (3D) pearl lace–like microgel of alginate with high level of monodispersity and cell viability. The alginate-based microgel constitutes living materials that control stem cell differentiation in either an autonomous or heteronomous manner. The bacteria (Lactococcus lactis) encapsulated within the construct surface display adhesion fragments (III7-10 fragment of human fibronectin) for integrin binding while secreting growth factors (recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2) to induce osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells. We concentrate on interlinked pearl lace microgels that enabled us to prototype a low-cost 3D bioprinting platform with highly tunable properties.


Witte, K. ORCID logoORCID:, Rodrigo-Navarro, A. and Salmeron-Sanchez, M.;