Successful engraftment, vascularization, and In vivo survival of 3D-bioprinted human lipoaspirate-derived adipose tissue
Journal article, 2020

Autologous fat grafting is commonly used for correction of soft-tissue deformities, despite a high rate of graft resorption and nutrition-supply challenges. Three-dimensional (3D)-bioprinting techniques enable tailor-made architecture of grafts and promote vascularization. In recent years, the importance of adipose tissue-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs) for graft survival has become evident. This study investigated the printability of mechanically processed lipoaspirate containing ASCs, as well as in vivo survival and neovascularisation of the 3D-bioprinted grafts. Human lipoaspirate-derived adipose tissue was 3D bioprinted in alginate/nanocellulose bioink, implanted into nude mice, and harvested at days 3, 7, and 30, respectively. The processed lipoaspirate showed high viability and good printability when combined with alginate/nanocellulose, and the 3D-bioprinted grafts contained intact vascular structures and a high density of mature adipocytes before and after engraftment. After 30 days in vivo, novel blood vessels were present on the graft surface, showing signs of angiogenesis into the graft, as well as vascularization in the centre of the tissue. Moreover, histologic and immunohistochemical characterisation confirmed the presence of potential ASCs during the first week in vivo. These results demonstrated that human lipoaspirate-derived adipose tissue showed high printability, survived 3D bioprinting and engraftment in vivo, and displayed macroscopic and microscopic evidence of vascularization.


Lipoaspirate-derived adipose tissue

3D bioprinting

Autologous fat grafting


Karin Säljö

University of Gothenburg

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Linnea Strid Orrhult

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Peter Apelgren

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

University of Gothenburg

Kajsa Markstedt

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Lars Kölby

University of Gothenburg

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry


2405-8866 (ISSN)

Vol. 17 e00065

Subject Categories

Bioengineering Equipment

Medical Biotechnology

Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)



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