Post-deposition bioink self-assembly: a quantitative study

A Shafiee and M McCune and G Forgacs and I Kosztin, BIOFABRICATION, 7, 045005 (2015).

DOI: 10.1088/1758-5090/7/4/045005

The outcome of a bioprinting process depends on both the deposition of the discrete bioink units and their ability to self-assemble into the desired structure following deposition. Post-printing structure formation is an autonomous process governed by fundamental biological organizing principles. As the quantitative formulation of such principles is notoriously difficult, bioprinting remains largely a trial and error approach. To address this problem, specifically in extrusion bioprinting, we have recently developed an effective computational method, the cellular particle dynamics (CPDs). Wehave demonstrated the predictive power of CPD in cases of simple printed constructs prepared with spherical multicellular bioink units. Here we generalize CPD to the important practical case of tubular grafts printed with cylindrical bioink units by taking into account the realistic experimental situation in which the length and the volume of the cylinders decrease post- printing. Based on our results, we provide a set of instructions for the use of CPD simulations to directly predict tubular graft formation without the need to carry out the corresponding complex and expensive control experiments. Using these instructions allows the efficient and timely biofabrication of tubular organ structures. A particularly instructive outcome of our analysis is that building tubular organ structures, such as vascular grafts by bioprinting can be done considerably faster by using cylindrical rather than spherical bionk units.

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