A dual-ink 3D printing strategy to engineer pre-vascularized bone scaffolds in-vitro

Chelsea Twohig, Mari Helsinga, Amin Mansoorifar, Avathamsa Athirasala, Anthony Tahayeri, Cristiane Miranda França, Silvia Amaya Pajares, Reyan Abdelmoniem, Susanne Scherrer, Stéphane Durual, Jack Ferracane, Luiz E. Bertassoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A functional vascular supply is a key component of any large-scale tissue, providing support for the metabolic needs of tissue-remodeling cells. Although well-studied strategies exist to fabricate biomimetic scaffolds for bone regeneration, success rates for regeneration in larger defects can be improved by engineering microvascular capillaries within the scaffolds to enhance oxygen and nutrient supply to the core of the engineered tissue as it grows. Even though the role of calcium and phosphate has been well understood to enhance osteogenesis, it remains unclear whether calcium and phosphate may have a detrimental effect on the vasculogenic and angiogenic potential of endothelial cells cultured on 3D printed bone scaffolds. In this study, we presented a novel dual-ink bioprinting method to create vasculature interwoven inside CaP bone constructs. In this method, strands of a CaP ink and a sacrificial template material was used to form scaffolds containing CaP fibers and microchannels seeded with vascular endothelial and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) within a photo-crosslinkable gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogel material. Our results show similar morphology of growing vessels in the presence of CaP bioink, and no significant difference in endothelial cell sprouting was found. Furthermore, our initial results showed the differentiation of hMSCs into pericytes in the presence of CaP ink. These results indicate the feasibility of creating vascularized bone scaffolds, which can be used for enhancing vascular formation in the core of bone scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111976
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • 3d printing
  • Bone
  • GelMA
  • Hydrogel
  • Scaffold
  • Vascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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