In situ three-dimensional printing for reparative and regenerative therapy
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Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is an emerging biofabrication technology, driving many innovations and opening new avenues in regenerative therapeutics. The aim of 3D bioprinting is to fabricate grafts in vitro, which can then be implanted in vivo. However, the tissue culture ex vivo carries safety risks and thereby complicated manufacturing equipment and practice are required for tissues to be implanted in the humans. The implantation of printed tissues also adds complexities due to the difficulty in maintaining the structural integrity of fabricated constructs. To tackle this challenge, the concept of in situ 3D bioprinting has been suggested in which tissues are directly printed at the site of injury or defect. Such approach could be combined with cells freshly isolated from patients to produce custom-made grafts that resemble target tissue and fit precisely to target defects. Moreover, the natural cellular microenvironment in the body can be harnessed for tissue maturation resulting in the tissue regeneration and repair. Here, we discuss literature reports on in situ 3D printing and we describe future directions and challenges for in situ 3D bioprinting. We expect that this novel technology would find great attention in different biomedical fields in near future.
Keywords3D bioprinting Biofabrication Bioinks In situ 3D printing Regeneration
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institutes of Health (EB021857, AR066193, AR057837, CA214411, HL137193, EB024403, EB023052, EB022403, and EB021857), and Air Force Office of Sponsored Research under award #FA9550-15-1-0273.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no competing interests.
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