A FRESH SLATE for 3D bioprinting

Additive manufacturing (more commonly called three-dimensional or 3D printing) of biomaterials for biomedical applications faces many technical hurdles. For example, complex multiluminal structures, such as vascular networks, can be made with sacrificial tubes made from sugars around which a hydrogel is cast (1), but this approach achieves limited structural complexity. Limited resolution when printing biopolymers impedes mimicking the microscale complexity of native tissues. Two studies have independently addressed these concerns. Grigoryan et al. (2) unveiled a stereolithography (SLA) printing technique called SLATE (stereolithographic apparatus for tissue engineering) that used a new set of biocompatible photoabsorbers for high-fidelity generation of multivascular networks within 3D-printed hydrogels. On page 482 of this issue, Lee et al. (3) report an update of their FRESH (freeform reversible embedding of suspended hydrogels) extrusion-based printing technique (4) with substantially higher resolution and with the ability to print complex patterns of multiple bio-inks in non–photocross-linked gels (for example, such as pH-induced collagen polymerization).

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