Laser printing of cells into 3D scaffolds

Biofabrication. 2010 Mar;2(1):014104. doi: 10.1088/1758-5082/2/1/014104. Epub 2010 Mar 10.


One of the most promising approaches in tissue engineering is the application of 3D scaffolds, which provide cell support and guidance in the initial tissue formation stage. The porosity of the scaffold and internal pore organization influence cell migration and play a major role in its biodegradation dynamics, nutrient diffusion and mechanical stability. In order to control cell migration and cellular interactions within the scaffold, novel technologies capable of producing 3D structures in accordance with predefined design are required. The two-photon polymerization (2PP) technique, used in this report for the fabrication of scaffolds, allows the realization of arbitrary 3D structures with submicron spatial resolution. Highly porous 3D scaffolds, produced by 2PP of acrylated poly(ethylene glycol), are seeded with cells by means of laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT). In this laser printing approach, a propulsive force, resulting from laser-induced shock wave, is used to propel individual cells or cell groups from a donor substrate towards the receiver substrate. We demonstrate that with this technique printing of multiple cell types into 3D scaffolds is possible. Combination of LIFT and 2PP provides a route for the realization of 3D multicellular tissue constructs and artificial ECM engineered on the microscale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Lasers
  • Polymerization
  • Porosity
  • Sheep
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds*