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Two major challenges of 3D bioprinting are the retention of structural fidelity and efficient endothelialization for tissue vascularization. We address both of these issues by introducing a versatile 3D bioprinting strategy, in which a templating bioink is deposited layer-by-layer alongside a matrix bioink to establish void-free multimaterial structures. After crosslinking the matrix phase, the templating phase is sacrificed to create a well-defined 3D network of interconnected tubular channels. This void-free 3D printing (VF-3DP) approach circumvents the traditional concerns of structural collapse, deformation and oxygen inhibition, moreover, it can be readily used to print materials that are widely considered "unprintable". By pre-loading endothelial cells into the templating bioink, the inner surface of the channels can be efficiently cellularized with a confluent endothelial layer. This in-situ endothelialization method can be used to produce endothelium with a far greater uniformity than can be achieved using the conventional post-seeding approach. This VF-3DP approach can also be extended beyond tissue fabrication and towards customized hydrogel-based microfluidics and self-supported perfusable hydrogel constructs.

Original publication




Journal article


Adv Funct Mater

Publication Date





bioprinting, endothelialization, hydrogels, microfluidics, printability