About this Research Topic
Over the last decades, biofabrication techniques have gained increasing attention within the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This is due to their potential to fabricate complex, patient-specific constructs that closely resemble the complexity and heterogeneity of native tissues and organs. In addition, recapitulation of the tissues/organs native architecture also has to be coupled with the desired functional outcome. The discipline applies additive manufacturing techniques to develop structures according to computer-aided designs (CAD). When a biomaterial is applied to produce the structure, the material can either be used as a biomaterial ink or as a bioink. Biomaterial ink refers to the use of a prefabricated scaffold obtained via additive manufacturing and subsequent cell seeding. The term bioink refers to a mixture already containing cells prior to additive manufacturing.
To produce a 3D structure that is biologically functional, cell-laden bioinks must be optimized to meet certain key characteristics including rheological properties, physico-mechanical properties, and biofunctionality; a difficult task for a single component bioink. As such, more recent research has been centered on multi-component bioinks consisting of a combination of two or more biomaterials to improve printability, shape fidelity and biofunctionality. We aim to collect the latest papers in the field that report on biofabrication strategies exploiting multi-component bioinks. These may be based on natural and/or synthetic polymers and hydrogels, possibly combined with cell-compatible additives.
Hydrogels are materials which can absorb up to 1000 times their own weight in water without dissolving, thereby closely resembling the highly hydrated natural cellular environment or extra cellular matrix, which is mainly composed from hydrated collagen. Papers reporting on cell carriers created via 3D-printing, moulding etc. are highly welcome in this Research Topic, as well as cell encapsulation in multi-component biomaterials.
Areas for Scope in the Research Topic:
• Multicomponent bioinks
• Biofabrication including deposition-based and laser-based 3D-printing
• Cell encapsulation into multi-component materials
• Natural and synthetic inks (hydrogels, polymers, biocompatible additives)
Dr. Van Vlierberghe holds patents on biomaterials, Dr. Ovsianikov is the co-founder and a head of the spin-off UpNano GbmH, and Dr. Lim holds a full utility patent on using light activated hydrogels as “bioinks” and “bioresin” for 3D Bioprinting of human tissues. All Topic Editors declare no further potential competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Biofabrication, 3D-Printing, Multicomponent Bioinks, Natural and Synthetic Polymers and Additives
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.