Scaffold-Free Biological Assemblies for Tissue Modeling and Regeneration



Invention Summary:

The evolution of in vitro-engineered scaffold-free tissues for tissue modeling and regenerative medicine has been driven by the need to recapitulate the cellular organization of endogenous tissues and to avoid undesired scaffold-related side effects upon implantation. Methods to produce scaffold-free tissue or cell assemblies have been recently explored with the use of membrane modifications, spheroid-based 3D bio-printing and thermo-responsive polymers. However, cell assemblies or tissue generated by these methods lack proper spatial control, mechanical robustness and are limited to a few specific cell types.

Rutgers scientists have developed a new method of arranging scaffold-free cell/protein assemblies for tissue modeling and regeneration.  This path-breaking invention facilitates the in vitro generation of cell/protein assemblies that recapitulate endogenous tissues. Such assemblies can be readily implanted at the site of disease or tissue injuries; the absence of scaffold allows these in vivo applications with reduced side effects.

In a proof-of-concept study, it has been demonstrated that a scaffold-free cell assembly created by this method leads to precision wound modeling and accelerated skin wound healing in a diabetic animal model.


  • Scaffold-free cell and protein assemblies for cell replacement therapy and in vitro modeling of tissue function and response to therapeutics

Market Applications:

  • Large-scale 3D cell assembly
  • Precision multi-cellular patterning
  • Tissue-like high cell density
  • High robustness for long-term maintenance
  • Applicable for unlimited cell types
  • Scaffold-free (no side-effects from biomaterials)
  • Excellent for in vitro laboratory research and cell transplantation into humans

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University
Bioengineering scaffolds
Tissue Engineering
Wound healing