Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 10, pp 4243–4258 | Cite as

Biofabrication: an overview of the approaches used for printing of living cells

  • Cameron J. Ferris
  • Kerry G. Gilmore
  • Gordon G. Wallace
  • Marc in het PanhuisEmail author


The development of cell printing is vital for establishing biofabrication approaches as clinically relevant tools. Achieving this requires bio-inks which must not only be easily printable, but also allow controllable and reproducible printing of cells. This review outlines the general principles and current progress and compares the advantages and challenges for the most widely used biofabrication techniques for printing cells: extrusion, laser, microvalve, inkjet and tissue fragment printing. It is expected that significant advances in cell printing will result from synergistic combinations of these techniques and lead to optimised resolution, throughput and the overall complexity of printed constructs.


Biofabrication Inkjet printing Cells Hydrogels Cell printing 



The University of Wollongong and the Australian Research Council (Centre of Excellence, Laureate and Future Fellowship programs) are thanked for their support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cameron J. Ferris
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kerry G. Gilmore
    • 2
  • Gordon G. Wallace
    • 2
  • Marc in het Panhuis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Soft Materials Group, School of ChemistryUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, AIIM FacilityUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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