Three-Dimensional Bioprinting Scaffolding for Nasal Cartilage Defects: A Systematic Review



In recent years, three-dimensional (3D)-printing of tissue-engineered cartilaginous scaffolds is intended to close the surgical gap and provide bio-printed tissue designed to fit the specific geometric and functional requirements of each cartilage defect, avoiding donor site morbidity and offering a personalizing therapy.


To investigate the role of 3D—bioprinting scaffolding for nasal cartilage defects repair a systematic review of the electronic databases for 3D-Bioprinting articles pertaining to nasal cartilage bio-modelling was performed. The primary focus was to investigate cellular source, type of scaffold utilization, biochemical evaluation, histological analysis, in-vitro study, in-vivo study, animal model used, length of research, and placement of experimental construct and translational investigation.


From 1011 publications, 16 studies were kept for analysis. About cellular sources described, most studies used primary chondrocyte cultures. The cartilage used for cell isolation was mostly nasal septum. The most common biomaterial used for scaffold creation was polycaprolactone alone or in combination. About mechanical evaluation, we found a high heterogeneity, making it difficult to extract any solid conclusion. Regarding biological and histological characteristics of each scaffold, we found that the expression of collagen type I, collagen Type II and other ECM components were the most common patterns evaluated through immunohistochemistry on in-vitro and in-vivo studies. Only two studies made an orthotopic placement of the scaffolds. However, in none of the studies analyzed, the scaffold was placed in a subperichondrial pocket to rigorously simulate the cartilage environment. In contrast, scaffolds were implanted in a subcutaneous plane in almost all of the studies included.


The role of 3D—bioprinting scaffolding for nasal cartilage defects repair is growing field. Despite the amount of information collected in the last years and the first surgical applications described recently in humans. Further investigations are needed due to the heterogeneity on mechanical evaluation parameters, the high level of heterotopic scaffold implantation and the need for quantitative histological data.

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Conceptualization, C.M.C.E. and A.A.; methodology, C.M.C.E.; validation, A.I., X.A. and I.G.; formal analysis, C.M.C.E. and R.H; investigation, C.R. and A.D.; data curation, J.P. and J.A; writing—original draft preparation, C.M.C.E.; writing—review and editing, C.M.C.E.; supervision. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

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Chiesa-Estomba, C.M., Aiastui, A., González-Fernández, I. et al. Three-Dimensional Bioprinting Scaffolding for Nasal Cartilage Defects: A Systematic Review. Tissue Eng Regen Med 18, 343–353 (2021).

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  • Cartilage
  • Nasal
  • Bioprinting
  • Chondrocytes
  • Polycaprolactone