Scientific reports

A novel cell-printing method and its application to hepatogenic differentiation of human adipose stem cell-embedded mesh structures.

PMID 26293341


We report a cell-dispensing technique, using a core-shell nozzle and an absorbent dispensing stage to form cell-embedded struts. In the shell of the nozzle, a cross-linking agent flowed continuously onto the surface of the dispensed bioink in the core nozzle, so that the bioink struts were rapidly gelled, and any remnant cross-linking solution during the process was rapidly absorbed into the working stage, resulting in high cell-viability in the bioink strut and stable formation of a three-dimensional mesh structure. The cell-printing conditions were optimized by manipulating the process conditions to obtain high mechanical stability and high cell viability. The cell density was 1 × 10(7) mL(-1), which was achieved using a 3-wt% solution of alginate in phosphate-buffered saline, a mass fraction of 1.2 wt% of CaCl2 flowing in the shell nozzle with a fixed flow rate of 0.08 mL min(-1), and a translation velocity of the printing nozzle of 10 mm s(-1). To demonstrate the applicability of the technique, preosteoblasts and human adipose stem cells (hASCs) were used to obtain cell-laden structures with multi-layer porous mesh structures. The fabricated cell-laden mesh structures exhibited reasonable initial cell viabilities for preosteoblasts (93%) and hASCs (92%), and hepatogenic differentiation of hASC was successfully achieved.