Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods

Three-Dimensional Cell Printing of Large-Volume Tissues: Application to Ear Regeneration.

PMID 28093047


The three-dimensional (3D) printing of large-volume cells, printed in a clinically relevant size, is one of the most important challenges in the field of tissue engineering. However, few studies have reported the fabrication of large-volume cell-printed constructs (LCCs). To create LCCs, appropriate fabrication conditions should be established: Factors involved include fabrication time, residence time, and temperature control of the cell-laden hydrogel in the syringe to ensure high cell viability and functionality. The prolonged time required for 3D printing of LCCs can reduce cell viability and result in insufficient functionality of the construct, because the cells are exposed to a harsh environment during the printing process. In this regard, we present an advanced 3D cell-printing system composed of a clean air workstation, a humidifier, and a Peltier system, which provides a suitable printing environment for the production of LCCs with high cell viability. We confirmed that the advanced 3D cell-printing system was capable of providing enhanced printability of hydrogels and fabricating an ear-shaped LCC with high cell viability. In vivo results for the ear-shaped LCC also showed that printed chondrocytes proliferated sufficiently and differentiated into cartilage tissue. Thus, we conclude that the advanced 3D cell-printing system is a versatile tool to create cell-printed constructs for the generation of large-volume tissues.

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Ethidium homodimer, suitable for fluorescence, ~90% (HPCE)