Cell patterning by laser-assisted bioprinting

Methods Cell Biol. 2014:119:159-74. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-416742-1.00009-3.


The aim of tissue engineering is to produce functional three-dimensional (3D) tissue substitutes. Regarding native organ and tissue complexity, cell density and cell spatial 3D organization, which influence cell behavior and fate, are key parameters in tissue engineering. Laser-Assisted Bioprinting (LAB) allows one to print cells and liquid materials with a cell- or picoliter-level resolution. Thus, LAB seems to be an emerging and promising technology to fabricate tissue-like structures that have the physiological functionality of their native counterparts. This technology has additional advantages such as automation, reproducibility, and high throughput. It makes LAB compatible with the (industrial) fabrication of 3D constructs of physiologically relevant sizes. Here we present exhaustively the numerous steps that allow printing of viable cells with a well-preserved micrometer pattern. To facilitate the understanding of the whole cell patterning experiment using LAB, it is discussed in two parts: (1) preprocessing: laser set-up, bio-ink cartridge and bio-paper preparation, and pattern design; and (2) processing: bio-ink printing on the bio-paper.

Keywords: Cell patterning; Laser-assisted bioprinting (LAB); Rapid prototyping; Tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioprinting / instrumentation
  • Bioprinting / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lasers*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*