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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2017 Sep;105(9):2582-2588. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.36117. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

Engineering muscle cell alignment through 3D bioprinting.

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Department of Engineering, Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, via Álvaro del Portillo 21, Rome, 00128, Italy.


Processing of hydrogels represents a main challenge for the prospective application of additive manufacturing (AM) to soft tissue engineering. Furthermore, direct manufacturing of tissue precursors with a cell density similar to native tissues has the potential to overcome the extensive in vitro culture required for conventional cell-seeded scaffolds seeking to fabricate constructs with tailored structural and functional properties. In this work, we present a simple AM methodology that exploits the thermoresponsive behavior of a block copolymer (Pluronic® ) as a means to obtain good shape retention at physiological conditions and to induce cellular alignment. Pluronic/alginate blends have been investigated as a model system for the processing of C2C12 murine myoblast cell line. Interestingly, C2C12 cell model demonstrated cell alignment along the deposition direction, potentially representing a new avenue to tailor the resulting cell histoarchitecture during AM process. Furthermore, the fabricated constructs exhibited high cell viability, as well as a significantly improved expression of myogenic genes vs. conventional 2D cultures.


cell alignment; cell-laden hydrogel bioprinting; skeletal muscle regeneration; tissue engineering

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