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Bioprinting with pre-cultured cellular constructs towards tissue engineering of hierarchical tissues

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Makoto Nakamura, Tanveer Ahmad Mir, Kenichi Arai, Satoru Ito, Toshiko Yoshida, Shintaroh Iwanaga, Hiromi Kitano, Chizuka Obara, Toshio Nikaido


The fabrication of physiologically active tissue constructs from various tissue elements are vital for establishing integrated bioprinting and transfer printing techniques as vital tools for biomedical research. Physiologically functional tissues are hierarchically constructed from a variety of tissue subunits with different feature sizes and topographies. For example, skeletal muscles are composed of many muscle bundles, muscle fibers, and muscle cells respectively. The fundamental constituents of all types of muscle tissues include various sized blood vessels, and vascular related cells. Nature has designed the direction of all the aforementioned components to have unidirectional alignment, so that muscle contractions can effectively generate the mechanical functions.

In this study, we demonstrate a promising approach to fabricating such hierarchical tissues by applying bioprinting and a transfer patterning technique. Linear-patterned smooth muscle cells were obtained by culturing on the surface patterned discs, before being transferred onto the Matrigel substrate. The fiber-like tissues structures were successfully formed on the substrate after a few days of culturing; these are partially aligned smooth muscle cells. Additionally, stacked structures were also successfully fabricated using laminating printing technique. Our results indicate that bioprinting and transfer printing strategy of pre-cultured aligned muscular fiber-like tissues is very promising method to assemble tissue elements for biofabrication of hierarchical tissues.


transfer cell printing; pre-cultured cell printing; laminating printing; fiber-like tissues

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