By collaboration with Prof. Howon Lee group, scientists in Prof. KiBum Lee’s lab, (Jeffrey Luo and Dr. Sy-Tsong Dean Chueng) have recently published a collaboration paper, “4D Printed Transformable Tube Array for High-throughput 3D Cell Culture and Histology”. The developed device is designed to be compatible with traditional high-throughput cell culture devices (i.e. multi-well plates) and common histology-processing machines.

To develop these devices, a 3D printer is loaded with a shape-memory polymer and used to print a transformable tube array (TTA) composed of cell culture tubes connected by support arms. The TTA is stretched to fit multi-well plates for high-throughput 3D cell culture over the course of several weeks. When the samples are ready for histology, the device and cell assemblies are heated at a non-destructive, mild temperature to shrink the array back to its original shape (“memory”) capable of fitting into a standard histology processing cassette. Researchers can precisely keep track of where every sample is during processing and ensure that samples are captured in the same histology cross-section. Weeks of tedious labor can be condensed into several hours of automated processing with this device.

By making 3D stem cell culture more accessible to researchers, we expect to accelerate innovation in various 3D stem cell culture applications such as organoids, drug discovery, disease modeling, and personalized medicine.

Publication: This work was recently published in Advanced Materials (DOI: 10.1002/adma.202004285).

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Group Members

Ki Bum Lee Ph 
            Dr. KiBum Lee

Jeffrey Lou           
                 Jeffrey Lou

Sy Tsong Dean Chueng
        Sy-Tsong Dean Chueng