Solid organ fabrication is an ultimate goal of Regenerative Medicine. Since the introduction of Tissue Engineering in 1993, functional biomaterials, stem cells, tunable microenvironments, and high-resolution imaging technologies have significantly advanced efforts to regenerate in vitro culture or tissue platforms. Relatively simple flat or tubular organs are already in (pre)clinical trials and a few commercial products are in market. The road to more complex, high demand, solid organs including heart, kidney and lung will require substantive technical advancement. Here, we consider two emerging technologies for solid organ fabrication. One is decellularization of cadaveric organs followed by repopulation with terminally differentiated or progenitor cells. The other is 3D bioprinting to deposit cell-laden bio-inks to attain complex tissue architecture. We reviewed the development and evolution of the two technologies and evaluated relative strengths needed to produce solid organs, with special emphasis on the heart and other tissues of the cardiovascular system.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (1445650, BMO), the University of Minnesota Institute of Engineering and Medicine (BMO), and the University of Minnesota LilleheiHeart Institute (BMO).
- 3D printing
- Extracellular matrix