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      A 3D bioprinting system to produce human-scale tissue constructs with structural integrity

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          Abstract

          A challenge for tissue engineering is producing three-dimensional (3D), vascularized cellular constructs of clinically relevant size, shape and structural integrity. We present an integrated tissue-organ printer (ITOP) that can fabricate stable, human-scale tissue constructs of any shape. Mechanical stability is achieved by printing cell-laden hydrogels together with biodegradable polymers in integrated patterns and anchored on sacrificial hydrogels. The correct shape of the tissue construct is achieved by representing clinical imaging data as a computer model of the anatomical defect and translating the model into a program that controls the motions of the printer nozzles, which dispense cells to discrete locations. The incorporation of microchannels into the tissue constructs facilitates diffusion of nutrients to printed cells, thereby overcoming the diffusion limit of 100-200 μm for cell survival in engineered tissues. We demonstrate capabilities of the ITOP by fabricating mandible and calvarial bone, cartilage and skeletal muscle. Future development of the ITOP is being directed to the production of tissues for human applications and to the building of more complex tissues and solid organs.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Printing and prototyping of tissues and scaffolds.

           Brian Derby (2012)
          New manufacturing technologies under the banner of rapid prototyping enable the fabrication of structures close in architecture to biological tissue. In their simplest form, these technologies allow the manufacture of scaffolds upon which cells can grow for later implantation into the body. A more exciting prospect is the printing and patterning in three dimensions of all the components that make up a tissue (cells and matrix materials) to generate structures analogous to tissues; this has been termed bioprinting. Such techniques have opened new areas of research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
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            Organ printing: tissue spheroids as building blocks.

            Organ printing can be defined as layer-by-layer additive robotic biofabrication of three-dimensional functional living macrotissues and organ constructs using tissue spheroids as building blocks. The microtissues and tissue spheroids are living materials with certain measurable, evolving and potentially controllable composition, material and biological properties. Closely placed tissue spheroids undergo tissue fusion - a process that represents a fundamental biological and biophysical principle of developmental biology-inspired directed tissue self-assembly. It is possible to engineer small segments of an intraorgan branched vascular tree by using solid and lumenized vascular tissue spheroids. Organ printing could dramatically enhance and transform the field of tissue engineering by enabling large-scale industrial robotic biofabrication of living human organ constructs with "built-in" perfusable intraorgan branched vascular tree. Thus, organ printing is a new emerging enabling technology paradigm which represents a developmental biology-inspired alternative to classic biodegradable solid scaffold-based approaches in tissue engineering.
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              Cell encapsulation in biodegradable hydrogels for tissue engineering applications.

              Encapsulating cells in biodegradable hydrogels offers numerous attractive features for tissue engineering, including ease of handling, a highly hydrated tissue-like environment for cell and tissue growth, and the ability to form in vivo. Many properties important to the design of a hydrogel scaffold, such as swelling, mechanical properties, degradation, and diffusion, are closely linked to the crosslinked structure of the hydrogel, which is controlled through a variety of different processing conditions. Degradation may be tuned by incorporating hydrolytically or enzymatically labile segments into the hydrogel or by using natural biopolymers that are susceptible to enzymatic degradation. Because cells are present during the gelation process, the number of suitable chemistries and formulations are limited. In this review, we describe important considerations for designing biodegradable hydrogels for cell encapsulation and highlight recent advances in material design and their applications in tissue engineering.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Biotechnology
                Nat Biotechnol
                Springer Nature
                1087-0156
                1546-1696
                March 2016
                February 15 2016
                : 34
                : 3
                : 312-319
                Article
                10.1038/nbt.3413
                26878319
                © 2016

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