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Biotechnol J. 2009 Aug;4(8):1168-77. doi: 10.1002/biot.200900004.

Characterization of cell viability during bioprinting processes.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Bioprinting is an emerging technology in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The process consists of simultaneous deposition of cells, biomaterial and/or growth factors under pressure through a micro-scale nozzle. Cell viability can be controlled by varying the parameters like pressure and nozzle diameter. The process itself can be a very useful tool for evaluating an in vitro cell injury model. It is essential to understand the cell responses to process-induced mechanical disturbances because they alter cell morphology and function. We carried out analysis and quantification of the degree of cell injury induced by bioprinting process. A parametric study with different process parameters was conducted to analyze and quantify cell injury as well as to optimize the parameters for printing viable cells. A phenomenological model was developed correlating the percentage of live, apoptotic and necrotic cells to the process parameters. This study incorporates an analytical formulation to predict the cell viability through the system as a function of the maximum shear stress in the system. The study shows that dispensing pressure has a more significant effect on cell viability than the nozzle diameter. The percentage of live cells is reduced significantly (by 38.75%) when constructs are printed at 40 psi compared to those printed at 5 psi.

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