Rise of tissue- and species-specific 3D bioprinting based on decellularized extracellular matrix-derived bioinks and bioresins
L. Elomaa, A. Almalla, E. Keshi, K. Hillebrandt, I.M. Sauer, M. Weinhart – 2023
Thanks to its natural complexity and functionality, decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM) serves as an excellent foundation for creating highly cell-compatible bioinks and bioresins. This enables the bioprinted cells to thrive in an environment that closely mimics their native ECM composition and offers customizable biomechanical properties. To formulate dECM bioinks and bioresins, one must first pulverize and/or solubilize the dECM into non-crosslinked fragments which can then be chemically modified as needed. In bioprinting, the solubilized dECM-derived material is typically deposited and/or crosslinked in a layer-by-layer fashion to build 3D hydrogel structures. Since the introduction of the first liver-derived dECM-based bioinks, a wide variety of decellularized tissue has been employed in bioprinting, including kidney, heart, cartilage, and adipose tissue among others. This review aims to summarize the critical steps involved in tissue-derived dECM bioprinting, starting from the decellularization of the ECM to the standardized formulation of bioinks and bioresins, ultimately leading to the reproducible bioprinting of tissue constructs. Notably, this discussion also covers photocrosslinkable dECM bioresins, which are particularly attractive due to their ability to provide precise spatiotemporal control over the gelation in bioprinting. Both in extrusion printing and vat photopolymerization, there is a need for more standardized protocols to fully harness the unique properties of dECM-derived materials. In addition to mammalian tissues, the most recent bioprinting approaches involve the use of microbial extracellular polymeric substances in bioprinting of bacteria. This presents similar challenges as those encountered in mammalian cell printing and represents a fascinating frontier in bioprinting technology.