A handheld bioprinter for multi-material printing of complex constructs

Biofabrication. 2023 May 2;15(3). doi: 10.1088/1758-5090/acc42c.


In situbioprinting-the process of depositing bioinks at a defected area, has recently emerged as a versatile technology for tissue repair and restorationviasite-specific delivery of pro-healing constructs. The ability to print multiple materialsin situis an exciting approach that allows simultaneous or sequential dispensing of different materials and cells to achieve tissue biomimicry. Herein, we report a modular handheld bioprinter that deposits a variety of bioinksin situwith exquisite control over their physical and chemical properties. Combined stereolithography 3D printing and microfluidic technologies allowed us to develop a novel low-priced handheld bioprinter. The ergonomic design of the handheld bioprinter facilitate the shape-controlled biofabrication of multi-component fibers with different cross-sectional shapes and material compositions. Furthermore, the capabilities of the produced fibers in the local delivery of therapeutic agents was demonstrated by incorporating drug-loaded microcarriers, extending the application of the printed fibers to on-demand, temporal, and dosage-control drug delivery platforms. Also, the versatility of this platform to produce biosensors and wearable electronics was demonstrated via incorporating conductive materials and integrating pH-responsive dyes. The handheld printer's efficacy in generating cell-laden fibers with high cell viability for site-specific cell delivery was shown by producing single-component and multi-component cell-laden fibers. In particular, the multi-component fibers were able to model the invasion of cancer cells into the adjacent tissue.

Keywords: bioinks; bioprinting; cell delivery; drug delivery; in situ printing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioprinting*
  • Cell Survival
  • Hydrogels
  • Microfluidics
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds* / chemistry


  • Hydrogels