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J Biomech Eng. 2009 Mar;131(3):035001. doi: 10.1115/1.3002759.

Development of a three-dimensional bioprinter: construction of cell supporting structures using hydrogel and state-of-the-art inkjet technology.

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Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology, Think-E Building, 1-23, Minamiwatarida, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki 210-0855, Japan.


We have developed a new technology for producing three-dimensional (3D) biological structures composed of living cells and hydrogel in vitro, via the direct and accurate printing of cells with an inkjet printing system. Various hydrogel structures were constructed with our custom-made inkjet printer, which we termed 3D bioprinter. In the present study, we used an alginate hydrogel that was obtained through the reaction of a sodium alginate solution with a calcium chloride solution. For the construction of the gel structure, sodium alginate solution was ejected from the inkjet nozzle (SEA-Jet, Seiko Epson Corp., Suwa, Japan) and was mixed with a substrate composed of a calcium chloride solution. In our 3D bioprinter, the nozzle head can be moved in three dimensions. Owing to the development of the 3D bioprinter, an innovative fabrication method that enables the gentle and precise fixation of 3D gel structures was established using living cells as a material. To date, several 3D structures that include living cells have been fabricated, including lines, planes, laminated structures, and tubes, and now, experiments to construct various hydrogel structures are being carried out in our laboratory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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