3D cell-printing of biocompatible and functional meniscus constructs using meniscus‐derived bioink
Authors and Affiliations
Meniscus injuries are prevalent in orthopedic diagnosis. The reconstruction of the structural inhomogeneity and anisotropy of the meniscus is a major challenge in clinical practice. Meniscal tissue engineering has emerged as a potential alternative for the treatment of various meniscal diseases and injuries. In this study, we developed three-dimensional (3D) cell-printed meniscus constructs using a mixture of polyurethane and polycaprolactone polymers and cell-laden decellularized meniscal extracellular matrix (me-dECM) bioink with high controllability and durable architectural integrity. The me-dECM bioink provided 3D cell-printed meniscus constructs with a conducive biochemical environment that supported growth and promoted the proliferation and differentiation of encapsulated stem cells toward fibrochondrogenic commitment. In addition, we investigated the in vivo performance of the 3D cell-printed meniscus constructs, which exhibited biocompatibility, excellent mechanical properties, and improved biological functionality. These attributes were similar to those of the native meniscus. Collectively, the 3D cell-printing technology and me-dECM bioink facilitate the recapitulation of meniscus tissue specificity in the aspect of the shape and microenvironment for meniscus regeneration. Further, the developed constructs can potentially be applied in clinical practice.
Keywords : Meniscus-derived bioink; Polyurethane; 3D cell-printing; Fibrochondrogenesis; Immunocompatibility