Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 245–255 | Cite as

Cell-Laden 3D Printed Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering

  • Charlotte M. Piard
  • Yu Chen
  • John P. Fisher
Fracture healing and bone regeneration
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Fracture healing and bone regeneration


Tissue engineering, relying on a combination of biomaterial scaffolds, cells, and bioactive molecules, has emerged as a promising strategy for the treatment of bone defects. The presence of viable cells inside the engineered tissue has been shown to be crucial for bone formation in vivo. However, cells require mechanical support and a physical template, or scaffold, to facilitate their attachment and to stimulate neotissue formation. The advent of additive manufacturing technologies, and most critically three-dimensional (3D) printing, has allowed the development of a new generation of scaffolds. Cells used alongside 3D bioprinting in bone tissue engineering are typically utilized in two different strategies. The first strategy, 3D bioprinting, involves the layer-by-layer deposition of a bioink, made of a scaffold material and cells. The second strategy focuses on the fabrication of a scaffold by printing an acellular material, followed by seeding living cells. Here we review these two approaches, discussing printing techniques, their inconveniences and advantages, hydrogels for 3D printing, and how to overcome obstacles. Finally, we consider the resulting engineered tissues from these two approaches, specifically their mechanical properties, matrix production, and tissue mineralization.


Bone tissue engineering 3D printing Bioprinting Biomaterials 



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 EB014946). The authors would wish to thank Dr. Hannah Baker and Ms. Jordan Trachtenberg for this assistance in constructing this work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Charlotte M. Piard, Yu Chen, and John P. Fisher declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal/Human Studies

This article does not include any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fischell Department of BioengineeringUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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