Bioprinting is an emerging field in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. It is defined as the printing of structures consisting of living cells, biomaterials and active biomolecules. The ultimate aim is to produce implantable organs and tissues to replace the use of autografts, which cause donor site morbidity and require two invasive surgeries. Not only is bioprinting aimed at the restoration of tissue, it has significant potential for drug delivery and cancer studies. Bioprinting provides control over cell placement and therefore creates a homogenous distribution of cells correlating to a uniform tissue ingrowth. Another attribute of bioprinting is the production of patient-specific spatial geometry, controllable microstructures and a high degree of reproducibility and scalability between designs. This book chapter will discuss the many parameters of bioprinting; manufacturing techniques, precursor materials, types of printed cells and the current research.
Part of the book: Biomaterial-supported Tissue Reconstruction or Regeneration