3D Bioprinting Technologies

  • Christopher B. HighleyEmail author


Bioprinting technology offers capabilities for the design and fabrication of biological and tissue structures. Some of the field’s products are already impacting human health. Research to increase the complexity and functionality of bioprinted structures through innovation in bioprinting hardware, techniques, and materials continues to expand, with the aim of ultimately producing patient-specific tissue constructs. This chapter offers an introduction to the field, first by considering the emergence of bioprinting in relationship to enabling technologies. Because of the intense interest and continuing growth of the bioprinting, specific terminology and potential points of confusion across academic publications are discussed. The three main classes, or modalities, of bioprinting technologies are covered—extrusion-based bioprinting, droplet-based bioprinting, and bioprinting achieved through directed application of energy, such as light, to a bioink. The strengths and weaknesses of these techniques are discussed next, to highlight the potential of varying approaches and to point to opportunities for advances. Finally, some recent advances in bioprinting that are addressing challenges that exist in the three modalities are introduced to highlight innovative approaches that have and will continue to advance the field beyond limitations in the processes used.


3D bioprinting Bioprinting technology Bioink Historical perspective 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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