What are the types of 3D bioprinting technologies?
Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting uses 3D printing–like techniques to combine cells, growth factors, and other biomaterials to fabricate biomedical structures to imitate natural tissue characteristics. 3D bioprinting uses a layer-by-layer method to deposit bioinks to create tissue-like structures that are later used in various medical and tissue engineering experiments. This article focuses on the types of 3D printing technologies and how they differ from each other (1)
Types of 3D bioprinting technologies
1. Extrusion-based bioprinting– The extrusion-based 3D bioprinting utilizes either semi-solid extrusion (SSE) or fused deposition modeling (FDM) based 3D printing. It has been widely used in various biomedical sectors and enables the production of models that mimic soft tissues and bone structures which in turn provide an opportunity for possible implants.
2. Inkjet-based bioprinting– Inkjet bioprinting is a non-contact method based on the ejection of drops of liquid onto a substrate by thermal, electrostatic, or piezoelectric forces. This technique is comparatively more acceptable in terms of cost and compatibility with living materials and has the advantage of high speed construction of droplet bioinks.
3. Pressure-assisted bioprinting– Pressure-assisted bioprinting is based on the extrusion of biomaterials out of the nozzle of the printer in order to fabricate a 3D biological structure that allows the room temperature processing and direct incorporation of homogenous cells onto the substrate. The pressure is created by a coordinated motion of pneumatic pressure or plunger or via screw-based pressure in the form of a continuous filament.
4. Laser-assisted bioprinting– Laser-assisted bioprinting method deposits biomaterials onto a surface by using a pulsed laser beam as a source of energy. The principle of laser-assisted bioprinting is the use of the laser to induce the transfer of biomaterials onto a solid surface, it causes the liquid biomaterial to evaporate and reach the substrate in droplet form. The substrate consists of either biopolymers or a cell culture medium and assists in cellular adhesion and sustained the growth of the deposited biomaterial (2,3,4,5).
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2. Li J, Chen M, Fan X, Zhou H. Recent advances in bioprinting techniques: approaches, applications and future prospects. J Transl Med. 2016 Sep 20;14:271. doi: 10.1186/s12967-016-1028-0. PMID: 27645770; PMCID: PMC5028995.
3. Gudapati H, Dey M, Ozbolat I. A comprehensive review on droplet-based bioprinting: Past, present and future. Biomaterials. 2016 Sep;102:20-42. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.06.012. Epub 2016 Jun 7. PMID: 27318933.
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