Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) microfibers were used as a template for development of a capillary-like network in agarose hydrogel. Microfibers with diameter 10-20 mu m, which is comparable to the diameter of native capillary vessels, were fabricated using a wet spinning technique. The microfibers were embedded in agarose gel and dissolved by immersing the gel in dichloromethane. The resultant microchannels in the gel had the same diameter as the microfibers, and allowed an aqueous solution to be perfused through the gel. The methodology is promising for fabricating a capillary-like network in tissue engineering scaffolds of various water-soluble polymers.
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