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3D Bioprinting

Bioprinting has significantly advanced regenerative medicine, notably through the rapid progression of biocompatible materials designed to meet the demand for artificial tissues and organs. In the realm of 3D bioprinting, living materials are additively manufactured, encompassing the creation of a 3D tissue design—typically developed in a CAD (computer-aided design) environment—and the encapsulation of biological cells within biopolymers. Within the CRE group, innovative approaches are being pioneered for coral reef restoration and algal biotechnology utilizing 3D bioprinting techniques. Our research centers on the synthesis of tailor-made biopolymers specifically crafted for applications in coral and microalgae contexts. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Chen lab at UCSD, we are actively working on the development of scalable bioprinters.

Light-assisted 3D printing

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Light-assisted printing can swiftly produce microscale structures in a matter of seconds. The fundamental principle underlying this printing method involves the rapid cross-linking of biopolymers through the application of light.

Bioprinted Symbiotic Algae


This example highlights just one of the numerous applications of 3D bioprinting in reef restoration and biotechnology: the creation of coral-inspired biomaterials that replicate the structural and optical characteristics of corals. These biomaterials have the unique capability to foster the growth of living microalgae, resulting in dense microalgal populations.

Related Publications:

Wangpraseurt D, Sun Y, You S, Noel S, Hwuang H, Diaz J, Plummer S, Pernice M, Vignolini S, Tresguerres M, Chen S. Bioprinted Living Coral Microenvironments Mimicking Coral‐Algal Symbiosis. Advanced Functional Materials (2022): 2202273.38.

Wangpraseurt D*, You S, Chen S. Biomimetic 3D printed living materials powered by microorganisms (invited review (2022) Trends in Biotechnology.

Martin N, Bernat T, Dinasquet J, Stoftko A, Damon A, Deheyn D, Azam F, Smith JE, Davey MP, Smith AG, Vignolini S, Wangpraseurt D*., 2021 Synthetic algal-bacterial communities for space-efficient microalgal growth (Journal of Applied Phycology, doi:10.1007/s10811-021-02528-7.).

Wangpraseurt D*, You S, Azam F, Hildebrand M, Gaidarenko O, Jacucci G, Kuhl M, Smith AS, Davey MP, Deheyn DD, Chen S. Vignolini S. 2020 Bionic 3D printed corals Nature Communications 11, 1748

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