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Biomaterials. 2016 Sep;102:20-42. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.06.012. Epub 2016 Jun 7.

A comprehensive review on droplet-based bioprinting: Past, present and future.

Author information

1
Engineering Science and Mechanics Department, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
2
Department of Chemistry, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
3
Engineering Science and Mechanics Department, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. Electronic address: ito1@psu.edu.

Abstract

Droplet-based bioprinting (DBB) offers greater advantages due to its simplicity and agility with precise control on deposition of biologics including cells, growth factors, genes, drugs and biomaterials, and has been a prominent technology in the bioprinting community. Due to its immense versatility, DBB technology has been adopted by various application areas, including but not limited to, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, transplantation and clinics, pharmaceutics and high-throughput screening, and cancer research. Despite the great benefits, the technology currently faces several challenges such as a narrow range of available bioink materials, bioprinting-induced cell damage at substantial levels, limited mechanical and structural integrity of bioprinted constructs, and restrictions on the size of constructs due to lack of vascularization and porosity. This paper presents a first-time review of DBB and comprehensively covers the existing DBB modalities including inkjet, electrohydrodynamic, acoustic, and micro-valve bioprinting. The recent notable studies are highlighted, the relevant bioink biomaterials and bioprinters are expounded, the application areas are presented, and the future prospects are provided to the reader.

KEYWORDS:

Acoustic bioprinting; Bioprinting; Droplet-based bioprinting; Electrohydrodynamic bioprinting; Inkjet bioprinting; Micro-valve bioprinting

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