Bioprinting is an upcoming technology defined as “the use of materials transfer processes for patterning and assembling biologically relevant materials - molecules, cells, tissues and biodegradable biomaterials- with a prescribed organization to accomplish one or more biological functions” . Bioprinting therefore allows us to spatially organize cells, molecules and materials and create 3-dimensional structures. As several materials and cell types can be used, complex multicellular artificial tissues can be generated.
Although the technology of of 3D printing (also known as rapid prototyping) is known in the industry for quite a while, biological applications are rarely seen. The reason for this is that there are many parameters that need to be fulfilled for an ideal bio-ink. Apart from the fact that viscosity and final mechanical strength of the material need to be suitable for the process used, biofunctionality and low cytotoxicity are also key features of an ideal bio-ink. If the key features are met, as with the material shown in the video below, highly accurate 3D structures can be built with the bio-ink.