Bioprinting of freestanding vascular grafts and the regulatory considerations for additively manufactured vascular prostheses

Transl Res. 2019 Sep;211:123-138. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2019.05.005. Epub 2019 Jun 3.


Vasculature is the network of blood vessels of an organ or body part that allow for the exchange of nutrients and waste to and from every cell, thus establishing a circulatory equilibrium. Vascular health is at risk from a variety of conditions that includes disease and trauma. In some cases, medical therapy can alleviate the impacts of the condition. Intervention is needed in other instances to restore the health of abnormal vasculature. The main approaches to treat vascular conditions are endovascular procedures and open vascular reconstruction that often requires a graft to accomplish. However, current vascular prostheses have limitations that include size mismatch with the native vessel, risk of immunogenicity from allografts and xenografts, and unavailability of autografts. In this review, we discuss efforts in bioprinting, an emerging method for vascular reconstruction. This includes an overview of 3D printing processes and materials, graft characterization strategies and the regulatory aspects to consider for the commercialization of 3D bioprinted vascular prostheses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bioprinting*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional*
  • Tissue Engineering / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*