Direct Laser Printing of Liver Cells on Porous Collagen Scaffolds
SourceJournal of Laser Micro Nanoengineering
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Over the past years, direct printing techniques have been increasingly utilized in biomedical research applications including the fabrication of biosensors by printing biomaterials on electronic devices  and the fabrication of cell constructs for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine [2,3]. In particular, the combination of natural and/or synthetic scaffolds (that provide cells with a 3D extracellular matrix analog that can support and modulate their phenotypes) with emerging direct printing techniques that can place specific cell types into specific locations, can lead to the development of novel 3D tissue models and cell constructs whose sophistication lies beyond the current state of the art. In this work we introduce a direct laser induced forward transfer (LIFT) technique for the targeted printing of hepatocyte cancer cells (line Huh7) at precise locations on porous collagen scaffolds (PCS), in order to form patterns on the scaffold . We present a detailed study of the LIFT conditions that enable repeatable printing of viable cells on the scaffold and investigate the dynamic mechanisms that occur during the cell printing process by time-resolved imaging via a high-speed camera. Cell viability and the ability to form specific cell structures inside the PCS was examined 2h and 24h after cell printing via fluorescence microscopy. Keywords: laser printing, LIFT, direct write, cells, cell printing, porous collagen scaffolds.