Scaffold-Free Biofabrication

Reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Biomedical Engineering book series (RSBE)


Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have met great scientific, medical, and technological advances in the past decade. Most methods combine scaffolds, such as polymers, and living cells to make implantable structures that will integrate and heal the host’s tissues. More recently, alternative scaffold-free approaches have started to emerge. This chapter provides an overview of the current scaffold-free systems, advantages, challenges, methods, and applications. Scaffold-free tissue artificially produced in the lab using patients’ own cells has already been successfully used in heart and blood vessel regeneration at a small scale. New techniques and approaches are being developed, not only in terms of assembling cells and structures but also in terms of new equipment, namely for 3D bioprinting. Both primary and stem or iPSC-derived cells are used to assemble artificial tissues that are currently being tested in vivo and in vitro. These engineered constructs have numerous applications, such as regenerative medicine, disease models, and drug testing.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of MedicineSaga UniversitySagaJapan
  2. 2.Vascular Surgery Group, Department of Cardiovascular SciencesUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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