3D-printed Soft Hydrogels for Cell Encapsulation
Recent advances in 3D-printing with a combination of cell biology with materials science allowed the manufacturing of cell-encapsulated biomaterials to be used in tissue engineering. The main component of these bioprinted constructs is a bioink that requires its characteristics to be considered and tuned throughout the selection process. In this chapter, the focus is on the physico-chemical and biological requirements of the hydrogels being considered as bioinks with a deep investigation on the different crosslinking mechanisms that allow a stable hydrogel to be created during the bioprinting process. This chapter also describes the current focus areas for cell-encapsulated bioprinting highlighting the recent progress and limitations of the bioprinting to date, with a critical perspective on the future outlook.