Creation of Cardiac Tissue Exhibiting Mechanical Integration of Spheroids Using 3D Bioprinting

J Vis Exp. 2017 Jul 2;(125):55438. doi: 10.3791/55438.


This protocol describes 3D bioprinting of cardiac tissue without the use of biomaterials, using only cells. Cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and fibroblasts are first isolated, counted and mixed at desired cell ratios. They are co-cultured in individual wells in ultra-low attachment 96-well plates. Within 3 days, beating spheroids form. These spheroids are then picked up by a nozzle using vacuum suction and assembled on a needle array using a 3D bioprinter. The spheroids are then allowed to fuse on the needle array. Three days after 3D bioprinting, the spheroids are removed as an intact patch, which is already spontaneously beating. 3D bioprinted cardiac patches exhibit mechanical integration of component spheroids and are highly promising in cardiac tissue regeneration and as 3D models of heart disease.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Bioprinting / methods*
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Spheroids, Cellular / cytology*
  • Spheroids, Cellular / metabolism
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*