Development of a 3D cell printed construct considering angiogenesis for liver tissue engineering

Biofabrication. 2016 Jan 12;8(1):015007. doi: 10.1088/1758-5090/8/1/015007.


Several studies have focused on the regeneration of liver tissue in a two-dimensional (2D) planar environment, whereas actual liver tissue is three-dimensional (3D). Cell printing technology has been successfully utilized for building 3D structures; however, the poor mechanical properties of cell-laden hydrogels are a major concern. Here, we demonstrate the printing of a 3D cell-laden construct and its application to liver tissue engineering using 3D cell printing technology through a multi-head tissue/organ building system. Polycaprolactone (PCL) was used as a framework material because of its excellent mechanical properties. Collagen bioink containing three different types of cells-hepatocytes (HCs), human umbilical vein endothelial cells , and human lung fibroblasts--was infused into the canals of a PCL framework to induce the formation of capillary--like networks and liver cell growth. A co-cultured 3D microenvironment of the three types of cells was successfully established and maintained. The vascular formation and functional abilities of HCs (i.e., albumin secretion and urea synthesis) demonstrated that the heterotypic interaction among HCs and nonparenchymal cells increased the survivability and functionality of HCs within the collagen gel. Therefore, our results demonstrate the prospect of using cell printing technology for the creation of heterotypic cellular interaction within a structure for liver tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioartificial Organs*
  • Blood Vessels / cytology
  • Blood Vessels / growth & development
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques / instrumentation
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Hepatocytes / physiology
  • Humans
  • Liver / blood supply*
  • Liver / growth & development*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Organ Culture Techniques / instrumentation
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Scaffolds