Sphyga (Sphere Hydrogel Generator) is a open-source tool developed to fabricate hydrogel microbeads for many applications.
By tuning system's working parameters (i.e. volumetric flow rate, air pressure, nozzle internal diameter) and material properties (such as viscosity), it is possile to obtain spherical structures controlled in dimension, shape and composition.
We recently used Sphyga to encapsulate cells and/or nanosensors to recreate and monitor the hepatic lobule structure. In case of cell encapsulation, in vitro micro-models with specific functionality can be easily fabricated. In case of nanosensors inclusion, micro-constructs can be used as sensing tools to monitor environmental parameters (e.g. pH value).
- Example of hydrogels microspheres containing hepatocytes and live staining-
Licia DI PIETRO
A. Tirella, Magliaro, C., Penta, M., Troncone, M., Pimentel, R., and Ahluwalia, A., “Sphyga: a multiparameter open source tool for fabricating smart and tunable hydrogel microbeads”, Biofabrication, vol. 6, no. 025009, 2014