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Bio-printing method for cellularized 3D matrices

3D bio-printingCellularized scaffoldsIn vitro tissue modelsRegenerative medicineTissue engineering


A simple and innovative method for the preparation of cellularized three-dimensional structures (scaffolds) under mild processing conditions, with a controlled geometry, being stable in an aqueous environment. It can be applied in the biomedical field and in tissue engineering.

Technical features

The developed technology proposes the bio-fabrication of cellularized three-dimensional (3D) porous matrices (scaffolds), for application in tissue engineering as in vitro human tissue models or constructs for regenerative medicine purposes. The proposed technology is a bio-printing technique based on the “additive manufacturing” (AM) principle, that allows the layer-by-layer printing of 3D porous matrices characterized by a controlled and reproducible geometry, derived from a CAD model. In detail, the proposed approach allows the fabrication of 3D constructs through the micro-extrusion of biocompatible, self-supporting, thermosensitive hydrogels loaded with cells. These hydrogels show a sol-to-gel transition with increasing temperature in the 20-30 °C range, without requiring a potentially toxic chemical cross-linking. Therefore, the fabrication of the cellularized construct is conducted under mild conditions.

Possible Applications

  • Design of in vitro models of healthy and pathological tissues to screen drug efficacy/toxicity or study disease onset and progression;
  • Design of cellularized constructs for tissue engineering/regenerative medicine applications;
  • Direct bio-printing on exposed diseased tissues (e.g. injured skin).


  • Cell-friendly method;
  • Self-supporting structures;
  • High reproducibility;
  • Possibility to incorporate drugs/growth factors (mild processing conditions);
  • Possibility to print on exposed living tissues (mild processing conditions).