July 2, 2022 UMD Home FabLab AIMLab

Engineering and vascularizing tissues via 3D printing

Contributor: John Fisher

Figure. 1) Various pore architecture designs. Red lines demonstrated simulated angiogenesis according to computational models. Scale bar represents 100 ┬Ám. 2) Micropatterns designed to guide endothelial cell growth along 3D printed surface. 3) Mockup of multi-molecular functionalization of 3D printed graft surface with select growth factors and antibodies to enhance cell attachment and growth. 4) An example of a 3D printed scaffold designed from this toolbox of strategies to support and induce healthy neovessel formation within the tissue-engineered construct.

The Fisher group, in collaboration with clinicians, engineers, and researchers across various institutions, is focused on applying new biomaterial technologies to address the challenges of vascularizing tissue engineered constructs. These technologies and strategies include assessment of scaffold designs, physical surface patterning, and chemical surface modification of 3D printed tissue engineering scaffolds. The development of these vascularization techniques will enable us to support the growth of artificial organs and tissues for a variety of applications ranging from congenital heart disease to craniofacial defects.

Science Insights

Development of tissue-engineering scaffolds to promote vessel network formation through modulation of computer aided drafting designs, 3D fabrication of biodegradable polymeric scaffolds, and chemical modification of material surfaces.

Research Impact

3D printing scaffolds enables control over the design, geometry, and distribution of pores that best support extensive vascularization of the construct's interior to improve the long-term outcomes of tissue engineered constructs and artificial organs.


  • Wang et al. Evaluating Changes in Structure and Cytotoxicity During in Vitro Degradation of 3D Printed Scaffolds. Tissue Eng. Part A (2015). DOI: /10.1089/ten.TEA.2014.0495.
  • Wang et al. Evaluation of the in Vitro Cytotoxicity of Cross-linked Biomaterials. Biomacromolecules (2013) 14(5): 1321-9. DOI: 10.1021/bm301962f.
  • Wallace et al. Validating Continuous Digital Light Processing (cDLP) Additive Manufacturing Accuracy and tissue Engineering Utility of a Dye-initiator Package. Biofabrication (2014) 6(1): 015003. DOI: 10.1088/1758-5082/6/1/015003.
  • Melchiorri et al. Strategies and Techniques to Enhance the in Situ Endothelialization of Small-diameter Biodegradable Polymeric Vascular Grafts. Tissue Eng. Part B (2013) 19(4): 292-307. DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2012.0577.
  • Melchiorri et al. Contrasting Biofunctionalization Strategies for the Enhanced Endothelialization of Biodegradable Vascular Grafts. Biomacromolecules (2015) 16(2): 437-46. DOI: 10.1021/bm501853s.

Colleges A. James Clark School of Engineering
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

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