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This research strategy uses 3D printing to place cells together in a structure that will form the basis of an organ that can then be transplanted into the body. There are multiple bioprinting technologies used to deposit and pattern biological materials. Seven types of bioprinting processes being used in research include: (1) Vat Photopolymerization (STL or SLA), (2) Powder Bed Fusion, (3) Material Extrusion (90% of bioprinting uses this process), (4) Material Jetting, (5) Binder Jetting, (6) Directed Energy Deposition, and (7) Sheet Lamination. Tissue Fusion and maturation remain major challenges for large-scale cell preservation and bioprinting.
3D printing is a multidisciplinary field that brings applications to many industries including but not limited to biomedical, aerospace, defense, and automobile. However, bioprinting has not been vertically matured and advanced due to many challenges encountered, mainly due to the lack of understanding of the biology and bioengineering fundamentals.
The New Organ Research Alliance's committee on 3D Bioprinting helps to identify and characterize specific challenges ahead for the bioprinting research efforts and explores potential new technologies that may accelerate bioprinting capabilities. See our Committee Members here.