Magnetically Bioprinted Human Myometrial 3D Cell Rings as A Model for Uterine Contractility

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Mar 23;18(4):683. doi: 10.3390/ijms18040683.


Deregulation in uterine contractility can cause common pathological disorders of the female reproductive system, including preterm labor, infertility, inappropriate implantation, and irregular menstrual cycle. A better understanding of human myometrium contractility is essential to designing and testing interventions for these important clinical problems. Robust studies on the physiology of human uterine contractions require in vitro models, utilizing a human source. Importantly, uterine contractility is a three-dimensionally (3D)-coordinated phenomenon and should be studied in a 3D environment. Here, we propose and assess for the first time a 3D in vitro model for the evaluation of human uterine contractility. Magnetic 3D bioprinting is applied to pattern human myometrium cells into rings, which are then monitored for contractility over time and as a function of various clinically relevant agents. Commercially available and patient-derived myometrium cells were magnetically bioprinted into rings in 384-well formats for throughput uterine contractility analysis. The bioprinted uterine rings from various cell origins and patients show different patterns of contractility and respond differently to clinically relevant uterine contractility inhibitors, indomethacin and nifedipine. We believe that the novel system will serve as a useful tool to evaluate the physiology of human parturition while enabling high-throughput testing of multiple agents and conditions.

Keywords: contractility assay; myometrium; patient-derived; personalization of therapy; tissue bio-printing; tocolytics; uterine contractility.

MeSH terms

  • Bioprinting / methods*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Magnets
  • Myometrium / cytology
  • Myometrium / drug effects
  • Myometrium / physiology*
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • Precision Medicine / methods
  • Uterine Contraction*


  • Nifedipine
  • Indomethacin