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AUTHOR Ribezzi, Davide and Gueye, Marième and Florczak, Sammy and Dusi, Franziska and de Vos, Dieuwke and Manente, Francesca and Hierholzer, Andreas and Fussenegger, Martin and Caiazzo, Massimiliano and Blunk, Torsten and Malda, Jos and Levato, Riccardo
Title Shaping Synthetic Multicellular and Complex Multimaterial Tissues via Embedded Extrusion-Volumetric Printing of Microgels [Abstract]
Year 2023
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Materials
Abstract In living tissues, cells express their functions following complex signals from their surrounding microenvironment. Capturing both hierarchical architectures at the micro- and macroscale, and anisotropic cell patterning remains a major challenge in bioprinting, and a bottleneck towards creating physiologically-relevant models. Addressing this limitation, we introduced a novel technique, termed Embedded Extrusion-Volumetric Printing (EmVP), converging extrusion-bioprinting and layer-less, ultra-fast volumetric bioprinting, allowing to spatially pattern multiple inks/cell types. Light-responsive microgels were developed for the first time as bioresins (μResins) for light-based volumetric bioprinting, providing a microporous environment permissive for cell homing and self-organization. Tuning the mechanical and optical properties of gelatin-based microparticles enables their use as support bath for suspended extrusion printing, in which features containing high cell densities can be easily introduced. μResins can be sculpted within seconds with tomographic light projections into centimetre-scale, granular hydrogel-based, convoluted constructs. Interstitial microvoids enhanced differentiation of multiple stem/progenitor cells (vascular, mesenchymal, neural), otherwise not possible with conventional bulk hydrogels. As proof-of-concept, EmVP was applied to create complex synthetic biology-inspired intercellular communication models, where adipocyte differentiation is regulated by optogenetic-engineered pancreatic cells. Overall, EmVP offers new avenues for producing regenerative grafts with biological functionality, and for developing engineered living systems and (metabolic) disease models. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved