3D bioprinting represents a novel advance in the area of regenerative biomedicine and tissue engineering for the treatment of different pathologies, among which are those related to cartilage. Currently, the use of different thermoplastic polymers, such as PLA or PCL, for bioprinting processes presents an important limitation: the high temperatures that are required for extrusion affect the cell viability and the final characteristics of the construct. In this work, we present a novel bioprinting process called volume-by-volume (VbV) that allows us to preserve cell viability after bioprinting. This procedure allows cell injection at a safe thermoplastic temperature, and also allows the cells to be deposited in the desired areas of the construct, without the limitations caused by high temperatures. The VbV process could make it easier to bring 3D bioprinting into the clinic, allowing the generation of tissue constructs with polymers that are currently approved for clinical use.
Keywords: Bioprinting; additive manufacturing; cartilage; engineering; regenerative medicine; scaffold.