Laser bioprinting of human induced pluripotent stem cells-the effect of printing and biomaterials on cell survival, pluripotency, and differentiation

Biofabrication. 2018 Apr 25;10(3):035005. doi: 10.1088/1758-5090/aab981.


Research on human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) is one of the fastest growing fields in biomedicine. Generated from patient's own somatic cells, hiPSCs can be differentiated towards all functional cell types and returned to the patient without immunological concerns. 3D printing of hiPSCs could enable the generation of functional organs for replacement therapies or realization of organ-on-chip systems for individualized medicine. Printing of living cells was demonstrated with immortalized cell lines, primary cells, and adult stem cells with different printing technologies and biomaterials. However, hiPSCs are more sensitive to handling procedures, in particular, when dissociated into single cells. Both pluripotency and directed differentiation are influenced by numerous environmental factors including culture media, biomaterials, and cell density. Notably, existing literature on the effect of applied biomaterials on pluripotency is rather ambiguous. In this study, laser bioprinting of undifferentiated hiPSCs in combination with different biomaterials was performed and the impact on cells' behavior, pluripotency, and differentiation was investigated. Our findings suggest that hiPSCs are indeed more sensitive to the applied biomaterials, but not to laser printing itself. With appropriate biomaterials, such as the hyaluronic acid based solutions applied in this study, hiPSCs can be successfully laser printed without losing their pluripotency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Bioprinting / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Hydrogels
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology
  • Ink


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Hyaluronic Acid