Method for Making Small Diameter Living Tubes


We have developed a funnel-guide device for the noncontact manipulation and positioning of multicellular microtissues, to build macrotissues layer by layer. One specific application is the fabrication of biological tubes.

Market Opportunity

A long-standing problem in 3D tissue engineering is how to fabricate large tissue constructs with high densities of living cells, similar to natural organs and tissues. There is a specific need for tubular components. 

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

Our device uses a funnel guide comprising a free fall chamber, a funnel chamber, and a stacking chamber. The technology is based on the innate ability of microtissues to assume a horizontal orientation during free fall and to be guided by a funnel. Agarose micromolds are used to self-assemble cells into toroid- and honeycomb-shaped microtissues. After they spontaneously right themselves during free fall, the toroid- or honeycomb-shaped microtissues are stacked so as to align the openings in the layers. The layers are then fused, forming tubular structures. The technique, which is simple and quick, and could be automated, can be used to manufacture biological tubes of any type, such as blood vessel, lymph vessel, or renal tubule.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are interested in exploring research collaborations with leading regenerative medicine and tissue engineering companies.

Principal Investigator
Jeffrey Morgan, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Professor of Engineering
Brown University

IP Information

US20200377835A1, Issued March 29, 2022


Manning KL, Thomson AH, Morgan JR. Funnel-guided positioning of multicellular microtissues to build macrotissues. Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods. 2018 Oct 17;24(10):557-565.


Melissa Simon, PhD
Director of Business Development,
Brown Tech ID 2452
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Jeffrey Morgan
Kali Manning
Blanche Ip
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