February 7, 2020 -- Bioprinting has rapidly advanced in both techniques and clinical applications, but key challenges still remain for the burgeoning field. A multinational team of researchers offered their recommendations for how to address these hurdles in an in-depth road map article published February 7 in Biofabrication.
The group of authors, led by Wei Sun, PhD, of Drexel University in Philadelphia and Tsinghua University in Beijing, delved into specific bioprinting applications and shared their visions for the advances in science and technology that could address the technology's current challenges and opportunities.
Bioprinting utilizes cells, proteins, and biomaterials as building blocks for 3D-printed biological models, biological systems, and therapeutic products. The technique can be used for a number of biological applications, including printing biomaterials for tissue scaffolds and implants, printing cells or organoids for 3D biological models, and printing micro-organ chips for physiological platforms and engineered living systems.
Biomedical applications include the study of in vitro regenerative and physiological function, disease and pathogenesis development (including cancer), and drug screening with intended in vitro cell or tissue models. Work in this field has stimulated the development of novel bioinks, translational tissue engineering, personalized cancer treatments, and drug discoveries.
Sun noted several challenges that need to be addressed:
Other authors reported on specific issues relating to the following: cell expansion to 3D cell printing, bioinks for 3D bioprinting, bioprinting of stem cells, large-scale and efficient production of organoids or cell aggregates, strategy for bioprinting of tissue vascular system and tissue assembly, 3D-printed biohybrid tissues as in vitro biological models for disease study, 3D-printing for organ-on-a-chip development, biomanufacturing of multicellular engineered living systems, bioprinting in space, and bioprinting technologies.
Among the highlights:
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