3D bioprinting has been developed to effectively and rapidly pattern living cells and biomaterials, aiming to create complex bioconstructs. However, placing biocompatible materials or cells into direct contact via bioprinting is necessary but insufficient for creating these constructs. Therefore, ‘4D bioprinting’ has emerged recently, where ‘time’ is integrated with 3D bioprinting as the fourth dimension, and the printed objects can change their shapes or functionalities when an external stimulus is imposed or when cell fusion or postprinting self-assembly occurs. In this review, we highlight recent developments in 4D bioprinting technology. Additionally, we review the uses of 4D bioprinting in tissue engineering and drug delivery. Finally, we discuss the major roadblocks to this approach, together with possible solutions, to provide future perspectives on this technology.
Trends in Biotechnology – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2016
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