Viability and electrophysiology of neural cell structures generated by the inkjet printing method

Biomaterials. 2006 Jul;27(19):3580-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.01.048. Epub 2006 Mar 3.


Complex cellular patterns and structures were created by automated and direct inkjet printing of primary embryonic hippocampal and cortical neurons. Immunostaining analysis and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings showed that embryonic hippocampal and cortical neurons maintained basic cellular properties and functions, including normal, healthy neuronal phenotypes and electrophysiological characteristics, after being printed through thermal inkjet nozzles. In addition, in this study a new method was developed to create 3D cellular structures: sheets of neural cells were layered on each other (layer-by-layer process) by alternate inkjet printing of NT2 cells and fibrin gels. These results and findings, taken together, show that inkjet printing is rapidly evolving into a digital fabrication method to build functional neural structures that may eventually find applications in neural tissue engineering.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Fibrin
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hydrogels
  • Indoles
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nerve Tissue / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Printing
  • Rats
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Indoles
  • DAPI
  • Fibrin