The application of ultrasound in 3D bio-printing
Date of Issue2016
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Singapore Centre for 3D Printing
Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is an emerging and promising technology in tissue engineering to construct tissues and organs for implantation. Alignment of self-assembly cell spheroids that are used as bioink could be very accurate after droplet ejection from bioprinter. Complex and heterogeneous tissue structures could be built using rapid additive manufacture technology and multiple cell lines. Effective vascularization in the engineered tissue samples is critical in any clinical application. In this review paper, the current technologies and processing steps (such as printing, preparation of bioink, cross-linking, tissue fusion and maturation) in 3D bio-printing are introduced, and their specifications are compared with each other. In addition, the application of ultrasound in this novel field is also introduced. Cells experience acoustic radiation force in ultrasound standing wave field (USWF) and then accumulate at the pressure node at low acoustic pressure. Formation of cell spheroids by this method is within minutes with uniform size and homogeneous cell distribution. Neovessel formation from USWF-induced endothelial cell spheroids is significant. Low-intensity ultrasound could enhance the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. Its use is at low cost and compatible with current bioreactor. In summary, ultrasound application in 3D bio-printing may solve some challenges and enhance the outcomes.
© 2016 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).