Thermoresponsive Nanofabricated Substratum for the Engineering of Three-Dimensional Tissues with Layer-by-Layer Architectural Control

Current tissue engineering methods lack the ability to properly recreate scaffold-free, cell-dense tissues with physiological structures. Recent studies have shown that the use of nanoscale cues allows for precise control over large-area 2D tissue structures without restricting cell growth or cell density. In this study, we developed a simple and versatile platform combining a thermo­responsive nanofabricated substratum (TNFS) incorporating nano­topo­graphical cues and the gel casting method for the fabrication of scaffold-free 3D tissues. Our TNFS allows for the structural control of aligned cell monolayers which can be spontaneously detached <i>via</i> a change in culture temperature. Utilizing our gel casting method, viable, aligned cell sheets can be transferred without loss of anisotropy or stacked with control over individual layer orientations. Transferred cell sheets and individual cell layers within multilayered tissues robustly retain structural anisotropy, allowing for the fabrication of scaffold-free, 3D tissues with hierarchical control of overall tissue structure.