Transformative Materials to Create 3D Functional Human Tissue Models In Vitro in a Reproducible Manner

Adv Healthc Mater. 2023 Aug;12(20):e2301030. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202301030. Epub 2023 Jun 13.


Recreating human tissues and organs in the petri dish to establish models as tools in biomedical sciences has gained momentum. These models can provide insight into mechanisms of human physiology, disease onset, and progression, and improve drug target validation, as well as the development of new medical therapeutics. Transformative materials play an important role in this evolution, as they can be programmed to direct cell behavior and fate by controlling the activity of bioactive molecules and material properties. Using nature as an inspiration, scientists are creating materials that incorporate specific biological processes observed during human organogenesis and tissue regeneration. This article presents the reader with state-of-the-art developments in the field of in vitro tissue engineering and the challenges related to the design, production, and translation of these transformative materials. Advances regarding (stem) cell sources, expansion, and differentiation, and how novel responsive materials, automated and large-scale fabrication processes, culture conditions, in situ monitoring systems, and computer simulations are required to create functional human tissue models that are relevant and efficient for drug discovery, are described. This paper illustrates how these different technologies need to converge to generate in vitro life-like human tissue models that provide a platform to answer health-based scientific questions.

Keywords: biomaterials; high throughput; microtissues; stem cells; transformative materials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Discovery
  • Humans
  • Stem Cells*
  • Tissue Engineering*


  • Biocompatible Materials