3D bioprinting of microvascularized tissues: combining cellular spheroids and smart biomaterials

01 January 2019 → 31 December 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Morphological sciences
    • Morphological sciences
    • Morphological sciences
  • Engineering and technology
    • Ceramic and glass materials
    • Materials science and engineering
    • Semiconductor materials
    • Other materials engineering
3D bioprinting
Project description

The ultimate goal of tissue engineering is to fabricate functional human tissues and organs suitable
for regeneration or replacement of damaged or lost human organs. To date, the complex
histoarchitectural features of tissues and vascular network integration, can not be achieved in the
traditional scaffold based approach. Bioprinting holds remarkable promise for fabrication of 3D
vascularized tissues, given its scalability, reproducibility and precise multidimensional control. With
bioprinting, different cellular spheroids, biomaterials or extracellular matrix and biomolecules can
be precisely placed in 3D according to the natural compartments of the target tissue. Till date, the
most critical challenge in bioprinting is the integration of a vascular network needed for viability and
maturation. Smart biomaterials (stimuli-responsive biomaterials) will play an important role in
enhancing the bioprinted tissue. The project aims to engineer a vascularized tissue by bioprinting
smart biomaterials and vascular spheroids. Bioprinting of vascularized tissues will revolutionize the
field of regenerative medicine. However, in the near future, miniature tissues can also be used for
personalized medicine, applicable in the pharmaceutical industry (toxicity screening, in vitro disease
(e.g. cancer) models,...).