The technology of tissue engineering is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field of science that elevates cell-based research from 2D cultures through organoids to whole bionic organs. 3D bioprinting and organ-on-a-chip approaches through generation of three-dimensional cultures at different scales, applied separately or combined, are widely used in basic studies, drug screening and regenerative medicine. They enable analyses of tissue-like conditions that yield much more reliable results than monolayer cell cultures. Annually, millions of animals worldwide are used for preclinical research. Therefore, the rapid assessment of drug efficacy and toxicity in the early stages of preclinical testing can significantly reduce the number of animals, bringing great ethical and financial benefits. In this review, we describe 3D bioprinting techniques and first examples of printed bionic organs. We also present the possibilities of microfluidic systems, based on the latest reports. We demonstrate the pros and cons of both technologies and indicate their use in the future of medicine.
Keywords: 3D bioprinting; bioink; bionic tissue; cell culture; organ-on-a-chip.