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Table 1 Characteristics of bioprinting processes

From: Recent advances in bioprinting techniques: approaches, applications and future prospects

  Biomaterials Cell viability/resolution Bioprinting speed Cost Advantages Disadvantages References
Inkjet-based bioprinting Low-viscosity suspension of living cells; biomolecules; growth factors ~90 % 20–100 µm Fast (<10,000 droplets/s) Low Wide availability; low cost; high resolution; high printing speed; ability to introduce concentration gradients in 3D constructs Poor vertical structure clogging characteristics; thermal and mechanical stress to cells; limited printable materials (liquid only) [24, 2831]
Pressure-assisted bioprinting Hydrogel; melt; cells; proteins and ceramic materials; solutions, pastes, or dispersions of low to high viscosity; PLGA; tricalcium phosphate (TCP); collagen and chitosan; collagen-alginate-silica composites coated with HA; and agarose with gelatin 40–80 % 200 µm Slow Medium Numerous materials that can be printed with any dimensions; mild conditions (room temperature); use of cellular spheroids; direct incorporation of cells; and homogenous distribution of cells Limited mechanical stiffness; critical timing of gelation time; specific matching of the densities of the material and the liquid medium to preserve shapes; low resolution and viability [33, 102104]
Laser-assisted bioprinting Hydrogel, media, cells, proteins and ceramic materials of varying viscosity >95 % >20 µm Medium High Nozzle-free, noncontact process; cells are printed with high activity and high resolution; high control of ink droplets and precise delivery High cost; cumbersome and time consuming; requires a metal film and thus is subject to metallic particle contamination [3941]
Stereolithography Light-sensitive polymer materials; curable acrylics and epoxies >90 % ~1.2–200 µm Fast (<40,000 mm/s) Low Solid freeform and nozzle-free technology; highest fabrication accuracy; compatibility with an increasing number of materials; light-sensitive hydrogels can be printed layer-by-layer Applicable to photopolymers only; lack of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers; harmful effects from residual toxic photo-curing reagents; possibility of harm to DNA and human skin by UV [45]