Three-dimensional bioprinting for organ bioengineering: promise and pitfalls

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Loss of organ function is a critical issue that threatens a patient's life. Currently, the only available treatment is organ transplantation; however, shortage of donor organs, histocompatibility, and life-long immunosuppression present major challenges. Three-dimensional bioprinting technology holds a promising solution for treating organ failure by fabricating autologous tissues and organs for transplantation. To biofabricate a functional tissue, target-cell types are combined with an appropriate biomaterial for structural support and a bioink that supports cell function and maturation. Bioprinted structures can mimic the native tissue shape and functionality.

Recent findings

The main goal of three-dimensional bioprinting is to produce functional tissues/organs; however, whole organ printing has not been achieved. There have been recent advances in the successful three-dimensional bioprinting of numerous tissues. This review will discuss the types of bioprinters, biomaterials, bioinks, and the fabrication of various constructs for repair of vascular, cartilage, skin, cardiac, and liver tissues. These bioprinted tissue constructs have the potential to be used to treat tissues and organs that have been damaged by injury or disease.

Summary

Three-dimensional bioprinting technology offers the ability to fabricate three-dimensional tissue structures with high precision, fidelity, and stability at human clinical scale. The creation of complex tissue architectures with heterogeneous compositions has the potential to revolutionize transplantation of tissues and organs.

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