Computational model-informed design and bioprinting of cell-patterned constructs for bone tissue engineering

Aurelie Carlier, Gozde Akdeniz Skvortsov, Forough Hafezi, Eleonora Ferraris, Jennifer Patterson, Bahattin Koc*, Hans Van Oosterwyck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a rapidly advancing tissue engineering technology that holds great promise for the regeneration of several tissues, including bone. However, to generate a successful 3D bone tissue engineering construct, additional complexities should be taken into account such as nutrient and oxygen delivery, which is often insufficient after implantation in large bone defects. We propose that a well-designed tissue engineering construct, that is, an implant with a specific spatial pattern of cells in a matrix, will improve the healing outcome. By using a computational model of bone regeneration we show that particular cell patterns in tissue engineering constructs are able to enhance bone regeneration compared to uniform ones. We successfully bioprinted one of the most promising cell-gradient patterns by using cell-laden hydrogels with varying cell densities and observed a high cell viability for three days following the bioprinting process. In summary, we present a novel strategy for the biofabrication of bone tissue engineering constructs by designing cell-gradient patterns based on a computational model of bone regeneration, and successfully bioprinting the chosen design. This integrated approach may increase the success rate of implanted tissue engineering constructs for critical size bone defects and also can find a wider application in the biofabrication of other types of tissue engineering constructs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number025009
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • bioprinting
  • cell-laden hydrogels
  • computational model
  • cell pattern
  • bone tissue engineering
  • non-healing bone defects

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