Engineering Human Neural Tissue by 3D Bioprinting

Bioprinting provides an opportunity to produce three-dimensional (3D) tissues for biomedical research and translational drug discovery, toxicology, and tissue replacement. Here we describe a method for fabricating human neural tissue by 3D printing human neural stem cells with a bioink, and subsequent gelation of the bioink for cell encapsulation, support, and differentiation to functional neurons and supporting neuroglia. The bioink uniquely comprises the polysaccharides alginate, water-soluble carboxymethyl-chitosan, and agarose. Importantly, the method could be adapted to fabricate neural and nonneural tissues from other cell types, with the potential to be applied for both research and clinical product development.