Skin Grafting on 3D Bioprinted Cartilage Constructs In Vivo
Journal article, 2018

Background: Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting of cartilage is a promising new technique. To produce, for example, an auricle with good shape, the printed cartilage needs to be covered with skin that can grow on the surface of the construct. Our primary question was to analyze if an integrated 3D bioprinted cartilage structure is a tissue that can serve as a bed for a full-thickness skin graft. Methods: 3D bioprinted constructs (10x10x1.2mm) were printed using nanofibrillated cellulose/alginate bioink mixed with mesenchymal stem cells and adult chondrocytes and implanted subcutaneously in 21 nude mice. Results: After 45 days, a full-thickness skin allograft was transplanted onto the constructs and the grafted construct again enclosed subcutaneously. Group 1 was sacrificed on day 60, whereas group 2, instead, had their skin-bearing construct uncovered on day 60 and were sacrificed on day 75 and the explants were analyzed morphologically. The skin transplants integrated well with the 3D bioprinted constructs. A tight connection between the fibrous, vascularized capsule surrounding the 3D bioprinted constructs and the skin graft were observed. The skin grafts survived the uncovering and exposure to the environment. Conclusions: A 3D bioprinted cartilage that has been allowed to integrate in vivo is a sufficient base for a full-thickness skin graft. This finding accentuates the clinical potential of 3D bioprinting for reconstructive purposes.


Peter Apelgren

University of Gothenburg

Matteo Amoroso

University of Gothenburg

Karin Saeljoe

University of Gothenburg

Anders Lindahl

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Camilla Brantsing

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Linnea Strid Orrhult

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Lars Kolby

University of Gothenburg


2169-7574 (ISSN)

Vol. 6 9 e1930

Subject Categories

Bioengineering Equipment

Medical Biotechnology

Medical Materials





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