3D Printing in Suspension Baths: Keeping the Promises of Bioprinting Afloat

Andrew McCormack, Christopher B. Highley, Nicholas R. Leslie, Ferry P. W. Melchels

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Extrusion-based 3D printers have been adopted in pursuit of engineering functional tissues through 3D bioprinting. However, we are still a long way from the promise of fabricating constructs approaching the complexity and function of native tissues. A major challenge is presented by the competing requirements of biomimicry and manufacturability. This opinion article discusses 3D printing in suspension baths as a novel strategy capable of disrupting the current bioprinting landscape. Suspension baths provide a semisolid medium to print into, voiding many of the inherent flaws of printing onto a flat surface in air. We review the state-of-the-art of this approach and extrapolate toward future possibilities that this technology might bring, including the fabrication of vascularized tissue constructs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Early online date16 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2020



  • 3D printing
  • bioprinting
  • hydrogel
  • self-healing
  • suspension baths
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering

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