Three dimensional printed biofilms: Fabrication, design and future biomedical and environmental applications

Microb Biotechnol. 2024 Jan;17(1):e14360. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.14360. Epub 2023 Dec 2.


Three dimensional printing has emerged as a widely acceptable strategy for the fabrication of mammalian cell laden constructs with complex microenvironments for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. More recently 3D printed living materials containing microorganisms have been developed and matured into living biofilms. The potential for engineered 3D biofilms as in vitro models for biomedical applications, such as antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and environmental applications, such as bioleaching, bioremediation, and wastewater purification, is extensive but the need for an in-depth understanding of the structure-function relationship between the complex construct and the microorganism response still exists. This review discusses 3D printing fabrication methods for engineered biofilms with specific structural features. Next, it highlights the importance of bioink compositions and 3D bioarchitecture design. Finally, a brief overview of current and potential applications of 3D printed biofilms in environmental and biomedical fields is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Biofilms
  • Bioprinting* / methods
  • Mammals
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Tissue Engineering