Bioprinting is a method used in tissue engineering that allows the creation of complex biological structures.
In standard tissue engineering, cells are seeded onto solid, biodegradable scaffolds, and are then induced to grow. However, that conventional approach is limited in its ability to replicate the smaller structures of a tissue.
With bioprinting, cells are combined with the matrix and deposited precisely to form the desired tissues and organs. Common techniques include jet printing and extrusion methods. Bioprinting has broad applications in biology and medicine.
Although modeled on conventional 3D printing, bioprinting is vastly more complex. Recreating tissues and organs also requires the recreation of structures and functions within the tissue, including signaling networks, cellular interactions, multiple cell types, and physiological activity.
Conventional tissue engineering approaches typically use a fabricated 3D scaffold to build up the three-dimensional cell structure. However, those approaches are not able to reproduce complex inner structures of the tissues. One advantage of bioprinting id that its additive approach allows reproduction of fine 3D structures within the tissue, with precise control of the positioning of cells.