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Three-dimensional bioprinting for organ bioengineering

promise and pitfalls

Ali, Mohameda,b; P.R., Anil Kumara,c; Lee, Sang Jina; Jackson, John D.a

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: December 2018 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - p 649–656
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000581
ORGANOGENESIS: Edited by Giuseppe Orlando

Purpose of review Loss of organ function is a critical issue that threatens a patient's life. Currently, the only available treatment is organ transplantation; however, shortage of donor organs, histocompatibility, and life-long immunosuppression present major challenges. Three-dimensional bioprinting technology holds a promising solution for treating organ failure by fabricating autologous tissues and organs for transplantation. To biofabricate a functional tissue, target-cell types are combined with an appropriate biomaterial for structural support and a bioink that supports cell function and maturation. Bioprinted structures can mimic the native tissue shape and functionality.

Recent findings The main goal of three-dimensional bioprinting is to produce functional tissues/organs; however, whole organ printing has not been achieved. There have been recent advances in the successful three-dimensional bioprinting of numerous tissues. This review will discuss the types of bioprinters, biomaterials, bioinks, and the fabrication of various constructs for repair of vascular, cartilage, skin, cardiac, and liver tissues. These bioprinted tissue constructs have the potential to be used to treat tissues and organs that have been damaged by injury or disease.

Summary Three-dimensional bioprinting technology offers the ability to fabricate three-dimensional tissue structures with high precision, fidelity, and stability at human clinical scale. The creation of complex tissue architectures with heterogeneous compositions has the potential to revolutionize transplantation of tissues and organs.

aWake Forest School of Medicine, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA

bDepartment of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Sharkia, Egypt

cDepartment of Applied Biology, Division of Tissue Culture, Biomedical Technology Wing, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence to John D. Jackson, PhD, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA. Tel: +1 336 713 1490; e-mail:

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