Technological watch

High?Definition Single?Cell Printing: Cell?by?Cell Fabrication of Biological Structures

Conventional bioprinting methods cannot reliably print single cells. A novel microfluidic bioprinting technology with a highly miniaturized cell sorter is presented to accurately print single cells. Through selective cell?by?cell printing, intricate cell patterns at single?cell resolution and uniform spheroids with defined composition and morphology are fabricated.Bioprinting is a powerful technology with the potential to transform medical device manufacturing, organ replacement, and the treatment of diseases and physiologic malformations. However, current bioprinters are unable to reliably print the fundamental unit of all living things, single cells. A high?definition single?cell printing, a novel microfluidic technology, is presented here that can accurately print single cells from a mixture of multiple candidates. The bioprinter employs a highly miniaturized microfluidic sorter to deterministically select single cells of interest for printing, achieving an accuracy of ?10 µm and speed of ?100 Hz. This approach is demonstrated by fabricating intricate cell patterns with pre?defined features through selective single?cell printing. The approach is used to synthesize well?defined spheroids with controlled composition and morphology. The speed, accuracy, and flexibility of the approach will advance bioprinting to enable new studies in organoid science, tissue engineering, and spatially targeted cell therapies.

Publication date: 18/11/2020

Author: Pengfei Zhang, Adam R. Abate

Reference: doi:10.1002/adma.202005346

Advanced Materials


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.