Three-Dimensional Fiber Deposition of Cell-Laden, Viable, Patterned Constructs for Bone Tissue Printing

Organ or tissue printing, a novel approach in tissue engineering, creates layered, cell-laden hydrogel scaffolds with a defined three-dimensional (3D) structure and organized cell placement. In applying the concept of tissue printing for the development of vascularized bone grafts, the primary focus lies on combining endothelial progenitors and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Here we characterize the applicability of 3D fiber deposition with a plotting device, Bioplotter, for the fabrication of spatially organized, cell-laden hydrogel constructs. The viability of printed BMSCs was studied in time, in several hydrogels, and extruded from different needle diameters. Our findings indicate that cells survive the extrusion and that their subsequent viability was not different from that of unprinted cells. The applied extrusion conditions did not affect cell survival, and BMSCs could subsequently differentiate along the osteoblast lineage. Furthermore, we were able to combine two distinct cell populations within a single scaffold by exchanging the printing syringe during deposition, indicating that this 3D fiber deposition system is suited for the development of bone grafts containing multiple cell types.