Bio-ink for inkjet printing of living cells
Direct printing of living cells is an emerging approach to the fabrication of tissue- or organ-like structures for application in regenerative medicine and in vitro drug screening and toxicology. Significant advances in bio-ink design are needed to continue the progression of this technology towards a clinically relevant biofabrication tool. Particularly, bio-inks for inkjet printing must simultaneously satisfy often disparate engineering and biological requirements, such as preventing cell settling and aggregation whilst retaining printability, without cytotoxic effects. The bio-ink described in this work uses a novel microgel suspension and biocompatible surfactants to achieve the above requirements to enable robust cell deposition from multi-nozzle piezoelectric inkjet print heads. We employed this capability to fabricate a range of cell constructs and microarrays. We believe that the bio-ink described in this work is an important advance in inkjet cell printing.