3D micromesh-based hybrid printing for microtissue engineering
Published in Bioprinting.
Bioprinting is widely applicable to develop tissue engineering scaffolds and form tissue models in the lab. Materials scientists use this method to construct complex 3D structures based on different polymers and hydrogels; however, relatively low resolution and long fabrication times can result in limited procedures for cell-based applications.
In a new report now available in Nature Asia Materials, Byungjun Lee and a team of scientists in mechanical engineering at Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, presented a 3D hybrid-micromesh assisted bioprinting method (Hy-MAP) to combine digital light projection, 3D printed micromesh scaffold sutures, together with sequential hydrogel patterning. The new method of bioprinting offered rapid cell co-culture via several methods including injection, dipping and draining. The work can promote the construction of mesoscale complex 3D hydrogel structures across 2D microfluidic channels to 3D channel networks.
Lee et al. established the design rules for Hy-MAP printing via analytical and experimental investigations. The new method can provide an alternative technique to develop mesoscale implantable tissue engineering constructs for organ-on-a-chip applications.
Materials engineering: Developing 3D micro-mesh platforms (3D MMP)
Using soft lithography-based microfluidic platforms, bioengineers can pattern multiple cell types for tissue engineering and organ-on-a-chip instruments. The concept of capillary burst valve has led to active research on microfluidic cell culture platforms via a phenomenon known as liquid pinning, where liquid can be maintained in the microstructure through capillary burst pressure (CBP) to form a predesigned shape of liquid. The method of liquid patterning by capillary burst valve (CBV) is explored via surface hydrophilicity modification, to develop micropost structures in microfluidic channels to hold liquid and hydrogel cells, for barrier-free co-culture. Since the devices are two-dimensional (2D) and difficult to develop via conventional soft lithography, scientists have incorporated patterning cells in 3D via 3D printing methods.