Bioprinting of osteochondral tissues: A perspective on current gaps and future trends

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Pallab Datta, Aman Dhawan, Yin Yu, Dan Hayes, Hemanth Gudapati, Ibrahim T. Ozbolat


Osteochondral tissue regeneration has remained a critical challenge in orthopaedic surgery, especially due to complications of arthritic degeneration arising out of mechanical dislocations of joints. The common gold standard of autografting has several limitations in presenting tissue engineering strategies to solve the unmet clinical need. However, due to the complexity of joint anatomy, and tissue heterogeneity at the interface, the conventional tissue engineering strategies have certain limitations. The advent of bioprinting has now provided new opportunities for osteochondral tissue engineering. Bioprinting can uniquely mimic the heterogeneous cellular composition and anisotropic extra-cellular matrix (ECM) organization, while allowing for targeted gene delivery to achieve heterotypic differentiation. In this perspective, we discuss the current advances made towards bioprinting of composite osteochondral tissues and present an account of challenges—in terms of tissue integration, long-term survival, and mechanical strength at the time of implantation—required to be addressed for effective clinical translation of bioprinted tissues. Finally, we highlight some of the future trends related to osteochondral bioprinting with the hope of in-clinical translation.


bioprinting; osteochondral injuries; zonal anisotropy; bioink; tissue engineering

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