The purpose of this study was to explore the use of a commercial thermal printer to deposit Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) and embryonic motoneuron cells into pre-defined patterns. These experiments were undertaken to verify the biocompatibility of thermal inkjet printing of mammalian cells and the ability to assemble them into viable constructs. Using a modified Hewlett Packard (HP) 550C computer printer and an HP 51626a ink cartridge, CHO cells and rat embryonic motoneurons were suspended separately in a concentrated phosphate buffered saline solution (3 x). The cells were subsequently printed as a kind of "ink" onto several "bio-papers" made from soy agar and collagen gel. The appearance of the CHO cells and motoneurons on the bio-papers indicated an healthy cell morphology. Furthermore, the analyses of the CHO cell viability showed that less than 8% of the cells were lysed during printing. These data indicate that mammalian cells can be effectively delivered by a modified thermal inkjet printer onto biological substrates and that they retain their ability to function. The computer-aided inkjet printing of viable mammalian cells holds potential for creating living tissue analogs, and may eventually lead to the construction of engineered human organs. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.