Bio-printing method for cellularized 3D matrices
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.
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.
- 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).