3D Bioprinting is the utilization of 3D printing and 3D printing–like techniques to combine cells, growth factors, and biomaterials to fabricate biomedical parts that maximally imitate natural tissue characteristics.
3D Bioprinting holds much promise in advancing medicine as tool to replicate cellular complexity of tissue environment, ex vivo for drug screening and as a means of engineering well-defined functional tissue units for transplantation (scaffolds, which can be used to regenerate joints and ligaments).
3D Bioprinting generally follows three steps:
- Pre-bioprinting, the process of creating a model that the printer will later create and choosing the materials that will be used.
- Bioprinting, mixture of cells, matrix, and nutrients (bioinks) are placed in a printer cartridge and deposited using the patients’ medical scans.
- Post-bioprinting, creation of a stable structure from the biological material.
For 3D Bioprinting there are three main approaches:
- Autonomous self-assembly
- Combination of both, also called mini-tissue building blocks
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