Microporogen-Structured Collagen Matrices for Embedded Bioprinting of Tumor Models for Immuno-Oncology

Daniel S. Reynolds, Irene de Lázaro, Manon L. Blache, Yutong Liu, Nicholas C. Jeffreys, Ramsey M. Doolittle, Estée Grandidier, Jason Olszewski, Mason T. Dacus, David J. Mooney, Jennifer A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Embedded bioprinting enables the rapid design and fabrication of complex tissues that recapitulate in vivo microenvironments. However, few biological matrices enable good print fidelity, while simultaneously facilitate cell viability, proliferation, and migration. Here, a new microporogen-structured (µPOROS) matrix for embedded bioprinting is introduced, in which matrix rheology, printing behavior, and porosity are tailored by adding sacrificial microparticles composed of a gelatin–chitosan complex to a prepolymer collagen solution. To demonstrate its utility, a 3D tumor model is created via embedded printing of a murine melanoma cell ink within the µPOROS collagen matrix at 4 °C. The collagen matrix is subsequently crosslinked around the microparticles upon warming to 21 °C, followed by their melting and removal at 37 °C. This process results in a µPOROS matrix with a fibrillar collagen type-I network akin to that observed in vivo. Printed tumor cells remain viable and proliferate, while antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells incorporated in the matrix migrate to the tumor site, where they induce cell death. The integration of the µPOROS matrix with embedded bioprinting opens new avenues for creating complex tissue microenvironments in vitro that may find widespread use in drug discovery, disease modeling, and tissue engineering for therapeutic use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2210748
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 17 2023


  • cancer
  • collagen
  • embedded bioprinting
  • immunotherapy
  • microporogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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