Embedded 3D printing of dilute particle suspensions into dense complex tissue fibers using shear thinning xanthan baths

Vasileios D. Trikalitis, Niels J.J. Kroese, Mert Kaya, Carla Cofino Fabres, Simone A. ten Den, Islam S.M. Khalil, Shartak Misra, Bart F.J.M. Koopman, Robert Passier, Verena Schwach, Jeroen Rouwkema (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


In order to fabricate functional organoids and microtissues, a high cell density is generally required. As such, the placement of cell suspensions in molds or microwells to allow for cell concentration by sedimentation is the current standard for the production of organoids and microtissues. Even though molds offer some level of control over the shape of the resulting microtissue, this control is limited as microtissues tend to compact towards a sphere after sedimentation of the cells. 3D bioprinting on the other hand offers complete control over the shape of the resulting structure. Even though the printing of dense cell suspensions in the ink has been reported, extruding dense cellular suspensions is challenging and generally results in high shear stresses on the cells and a poor shape fidelity of the print. As such, additional materials such as hydrogels are added in the bioink to limit shear stresses, and to improve shape fidelity and resolution. The maximum cell concentration that can be incorporated in a hydrogel-based ink before the ink's rheological properties are compromised, is significantly lower than the concentration in a tissue equivalent. Additionally, the hydrogel components often interfere with cellular self-assembly processes. To circumvent these limitations, we report a simple and inexpensive xanthan bath based embedded printing method to 3D print dense functional linear tissues using dilute particle suspensions consisting of cells, spheroids, hydrogel beads, or combinations thereof. Using this method, we demonstrated the self-organization of functional cardiac tissue fibers with a layer of epicardial cells surrounding a body of cardiomyocytes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015014
Issue number1
Early online date6 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • 3D printing
  • Self-assembly
  • Tissues
  • Organoids


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