Novel bioprinted 3D model to human fibrosis investigation

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2023 Volume 165, Article 115146

Fibrosis is shared in multiple diseases with progressive tissue stiffening, organ failure and limited therapeutic options. This unmet need is also due to the lack of adequate pre-clinical models to mimic fibrosis and to be challenged novel by anti-fibrotic therapeutic venues. Here using bioprinting, we designed a novel 3D model where normal human healthy fibroblasts have been encapsulated in type I collagen. After stimulation by Transforming Growth factor beta (TGFβ), embedded cells differentiated into myofibroblasts and enhanced the contractile activity, as confirmed by the high level of α − smooth muscle actin (αSMA) and F-actin expression. As functional assays, SEM analysis revealed that after TGFβ stimulus the 3D microarchitecture of the scaffold was dramatically remolded with an increased fibronectin deposition with an abnormal collagen fibrillar pattern. Picrius Sirius Red staining additionally revealed that TGFβ stimulation enhanced of two logarithm the collagen fibrils neoformation in comparison with control. These data indicate that by bioprinting technology, it is possible to generate a reproducible and functional 3D platform to mimic fibrosis as key tool for drug discovery and impacting on animal experimentation and reducing costs and time in addressing fibrosis.