Fabrication of microvascular constructs using high resolution electrohydrodynamic inkjet printing

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Fabrication of the intricate anatomy of vasculature within engineered tissue remains one of the key challenges facing the field of tissue engineering. We report the use of electrohydrodynamic (EHD) inkjet printing to create hydrogel-based microvascular tissues with hierarchical and branching channels, whose minimum feature size of 30 μm approaches the physical scale of native capillary blood vessels. The principle relies on the use of complementary thermoreversible gelling properties of Pluronic F127 (PF-127) and gelatin methacryloyl, which served as sacrificial templates and permanent matrices respectively. Human dermal fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells were successfully co-cultured within the engineered microvascular tissue constructs for up to 21 days, and attained high cell viability. Tissue specific morphology was maintained on perfusion. The ability to create cellularised, vascularised proto-tissues with high spatial resolution using EHD inkjet printing, provides a new strategy for developing advanced vascular models with the potential to impact upon an extensive range of biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number 035006
Issue number3
Early online date7 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • capillary network
  • electrohydrodynamic
  • fibroblast
  • inkjet


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