There is a growing need for organ donors and substitutes to traditional drug testing. In the United States 18 people die daily waiting for an organ and more than 117,000 men, women and children await a life-saving organ transplant. Recently, 3D printing techniques are being employed to create complex biological structures with the long term goal of organ construction. In this process, cells need to be seeded and cultured on printed scaffolds to generate tissue in a subsequent step. This process first identifies the composition and structure of the target tissue and tries to replicate it by incorporating the use of a bioprinter. The design tissue will then be constructed by a layer-by-layer technique in which a Bio-Ink is deposited on a surface being scaled up to build the targeted tissue.
Another advantage of 3D printers is their ability to produce a high cell density print. The printing of the scaffolds followed by subsequent cell seeding is a tedious process. Besides, it is complicated to incorporate physical characteristics in scaffolds to enable them to host cells which can proliferate successfully. Because 3D printers can create micro-scale structures, this integrated print technique can be incorporated in tissue printing to mimic the naturally occurring structures in the body, and enable better acceptance of the cells. In the current study, an attempt is made to print HeLa cells together with the agarose scaffold material and medium required for cell growth in one single step, therefore eliminating the need for a separate secondary process of seeding cells on a scaffold.