Application of inkjet printing to tissue engineering



Recent advances in organ printing technology for applications relating to medical interventions and organ replacement are described. Organ printing refers to the placement of various cell types into a soft scaffold fabricated according to a computer-aided design template using a single device. Computer aided scaffold topology design has recently gained attention as a viable option to achieve function and mass transport requirements within tissue engineering scaffolds. An exciting advance pioneered in our laboratory is that of simultaneous printing of cells and biomaterials, which allows precise placement of cells and proteins within 3-D hydrogel structures. This advance raises the possibility of spatially controlling not only the scaffold structure, but also the type of tissue that can be grown within the scaffold and the thickness of the tissue as capillaries and vessels could be constructed within the scaffolds. Here we summarize recent advances in printing cells and materials using the same device.