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VasFluidics: Vascular network-inspired fluidic system

Professor Anderson H.C. Shum of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and his Microfluidics and Soft Matter Team worked on the research for the topic “Vascular network-inspired fluidic system (VasFluidics) with spatially functionalizable membranous walls”. The research was recently published by Nature Communications on February 16, 2024.

Details of the publication:

“Vascular network-inspired fluidic system (VasFluidics) with spatially functionalizable membranous walls”

Authors: Yafeng Yu, Yi Pan, Yanting Shen, Jingxuan Tian, Ruotong Zhang, Wei Guo, Chang Li & Ho Cheung Shum

Article in Nature Communications,


In vascular networks, the transport across different vessel walls regulates chemical compositions in blood over space and time. Replicating such trans-wall transport with spatial heterogeneity can empower synthetic fluidic systems to program fluid compositions spatiotemporally. However, it remains challenging as existing synthetic channel walls are typically impermeable or composed of homogeneous materials without functional heterogeneity. This work presents a vascular network-inspired fluidic system (VasFluidics), which is functionalizable for spatially different trans-wall transport. Facilitated by embedded three-dimensional (3D) printing, elastic, ultrathin, and semipermeable walls self-assemble electrostatically. Physicochemical reactions between fluids and walls are localized to vary the trans-wall molecules among separate regions, for instance, by confining solutions or locally immobilizing enzymes on the outside of channels. Therefore, fluid compositions can be regulated spatiotemporally, for example, to mimic blood changes during glucose absorption and metabolism. Our VasFluidics expands opportunities to replicate biofluid processing in nature, providing an alternative to traditional fluidics.


Note: Pictures are reproduced under the terms of the CC-BY license. [Nat. Commun. 2024, 15, 1437]

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