3D bioprinting and microscale organization of vascularized tissue constructs using collagen-based bioink

Senthilkumar Muthusamy, Sathya Kannan, Marcus Lee, Vijayavenkataraman Sanjairaj, Wen Feng Lu, Jerry Y.H. Fuh, Gopu Sriram, Tong Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bioprinting three-dimensional (3D) tissue equivalents have progressed tremendously over the last decade. 3D bioprinting is currently being employed to develop larger and more physiologic tissues, and it is of particular interest to generate vasculature in biofabricated tissues to aid better perfusion and transport of nutrition. Having an advantage over manual culture systems by bringing together biological scaffold materials and cells in precise 3D spatial orientation, bioprinting could assist in placing endothelial cells in specific spatial locations within a 3D matrix to promote vessel formation at these predefined areas. Hence, in the present study, we investigated the use of bioprinting to generate tissue-level capillary-like networks in biofabricated tissue constructs. First, we developed a bioink using collagen type-1 supplemented with xanthan gum (XG) as a thickening agent. Using a commercial extrusion-based multi-head bioprinter and collagen-XG bioink, the component cells were spatially assembled, wherein the endothelial cells were bioprinted in a lattice pattern and sandwiched between bioprinted fibroblasts layers. 3D bioprinted constructs thus generated were stable, and maintained structural shape and form. Post-print culture of the bioprinted tissues resulted in endothelial sprouting and formation of interconnected capillary-like networks within the lattice pattern and between the fibroblast layers. Bioprinter-assisted spatial placement of endothelial cells resulted in fabrication of patterned prevascularized constructs that enable potential regenerative applications in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3150-3163
Number of pages14
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • additive manufacturing
  • bioink
  • bioprinting
  • stem cells
  • tissue engineering
  • vascularized tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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