Embedded Multimaterial Extrusion Bioprinting

Marco Rocca, Alessio Fragasso, Wanjun Liu, Marcel A. Heinrich, Yu Shrike Zhang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Embedded extrusion bioprinting allows for the generation of complex structures that otherwise cannot be achieved with conventional layer-by-layer deposition from the bottom, by overcoming the limits imposed by gravitational force. By taking advantage of a hydrogel bath, serving as a sacrificial printing environment, it is feasible to extrude a bioink in freeform until the entire structure is deposited and crosslinked. The bioprinted structure can be subsequently released from the supporting hydrogel and used for further applications. Combining this advanced three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technique with a multimaterial extrusion printhead setup enables the fabrication of complex volumetric structures built from multiple bioinks. The work described in this paper focuses on the optimization of the experimental setup and proposes a workflow to automate the bioprinting process, resulting in a fast and efficient conversion of a virtual 3D model into a physical, extruded structure in freeform using the multimaterial embedded bioprinting system. It is anticipated that further development of this technology will likely lead to widespread applications in areas such as tissue engineering, pharmaceutical testing, and organs-on-chips.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalSLAS Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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