Bioprinting of cartilage and skin tissue analogs utilizing a novel passive mixing unit technique for bioink precellularization
Journal article, 2018
Bioprinting is a powerful technique for the rapid and reproducible fabrication of constructs for tissue engineering applications. In this study, both cartilage and skin analogs were fabricated after bioink pre-cellularization utilizing a novel passive mixing unit technique. This technique was developed with the aim to simplify the steps involved in the mixing of a cell suspension into a highly viscous bioink. The resolution of filaments deposited through bioprinting necessitates the assurance of uniformity in cell distribution prior to printing to avoid the deposition of regions without cells or retention of large cell clumps that can clog the needle. We demonstrate the ability to rapidly blend a cell suspension with a bioink prior to bioprinting of both cartilage and skin analogs. Both tissue analogs could be cultured for up to 4 weeks. Histological analysis demonstrated both cell viability and deposition of tissue specific extracellular matrix (ECM) markers such as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and collagen I respectively.