This paper proposes neural tissue units with aligned nerve fibers (called rod-shaped neural units) that connect neural networks with aligned neurons. To make the proposed units, 3D fiber-shaped neural tissues covered with a calcium alginate hydrogel layer are prepared with a microfluidic system and are cut in an accurate and reproducible manner. These units have aligned nerve fibers inside the hydrogel layer and connectable points on both ends. By connecting the units with a poly(dimethylsiloxane) guide, 3D neural tissues can be constructed and maintained for more than two weeks of culture. In addition, neural networks can be formed between the different neural units via synaptic connections. Experimental results indicate that the proposed rod-shaped neural units are effective tools for the construction of spatially complex connections with aligned nerve fibers in vitro.
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