Bill Whitford and Michael Golway
Advanced Solutions, Inc., 1901 Nelson Miller Parkway, Louisville, Kentucky 40223, USA
One of the last hurdles in the bioprinting of larger tissues and full organs is the engineering of functional vascularization. The additive manufacturing of proto-vascular biomimetic structures has progressed but limitations still exist with achieving functional vascular systems capable of angiogenesis and differentiated structures that mimic the behavior in a living organism. One challenge remaining is the development of both appropriate printing fluids and the in vitro culture media employed in the progression of the pre-implantation 3D bioprinted scaffolds. The attributes of bioinks employed in the successful deposition of such matrices are dependent upon many factors. The physicochemical and rheological demands upon them is one. Another is type of cells employed in seeding the structure. Fibroblasts, smooth muscle and endothelial cells are all involved in the development of functional blood vessels. Each cell type has its own optimal ambient cocktail of growth/differentiation factors and metabolite complements. We will review the issues of cell viability as well as functional and CD phenotype maintenance in such biomanufacturing using the integrated digital modeling and fabrication technology of Tissue Structure Information Modeling (TSIM™) and BioAssemblyBot®, the world’s first 3D bioprinter using a robot that works like a human arm. Finally, the 4th dimension in printing applications where the deposited mass responds and evolves to its host environment will be addressed.