Long-term in vivo integrity and safety of 3D-bioprinted cartilaginous constructs
Journal article, 2021

Long-term stability and biological safety are crucial for translation of 3D-bioprinting technology into clinical applications. Here, we addressed the long-term safety and stability issues associated with 3D-bioprinted constructs comprising a cellulose scaffold and human cells (chondrocytes and stem cells) over a period of 10 months in nude mice. Our findings showed that increasing unconfined compression strength over time significantly improved the mechanical stability of the cell-containing constructs relative to cell-free scaffolds. Additionally, the cell-free constructs exhibited a mean compressive stress and stiffness (compressive modulus) of 0.04 +/- 0.05 MPa and 0.14 +/- 0.18 MPa, respectively, whereas these values for the cell-containing constructs were 0.11 +/- 0.08 MPa (p= .019) and 0.53 +/- 0.59 MPa (p= .012), respectively. Moreover, histomorphologic analysis revealed that cartilage formed from the cell-containing constructs harbored an abundance of proliferating chondrocytes in clusters, and after 10 months, resembled native cartilage. Furthermore, extension of the experiment over the complete lifecycle of the animal model revealed no signs of ossification, fibrosis, necrosis, or implant-related tumor development in the 3D-bioprinted constructs. These findings confirm the in vivo biological safety and mechanical stability of 3D-bioprinted cartilaginous tissues and support their potential translation into clinical applications.



in vivo


nude mice



Peter Apelgren

University of Gothenburg

Matteo Amoroso

University of Gothenburg

Karin Saljo

University of Gothenburg

Anders Lindahl

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Camilla Brantsing

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Linnea Strid Orrhult

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Kajsa Markstedt

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Lars Kolby

University of Gothenburg

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials

1552-4973 (ISSN)

Vol. 109 1 126-136

Subject Categories

Cell Biology

Cell and Molecular Biology

Biomaterials Science





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