Optimization and comparison of two different 3D culture methods to prepare cell aggregates as a bioink for organ printing
The ultimate goal of tissue engineering is to design and fabricate functional human tissues that are similar to natural cells and are capable of regeneration. Preparation of cell aggregates is one of the important steps in 3D tissue engineering technology, particularly in organ printing. Two simple methods, hanging drop (HD) and conical tube (CT) were utilized to prepare cell aggregates. The size and viability of the aggregates obtained at different initial cell densities and pre-culture duration were compared. The proliferative ability of the cell aggregates and their ability to spread in culture plates were also investigated. In both methods, the optimum average size of the aggregates was less than 500 mu m. CT aggregates were smaller than HD aggregates. 5,000 cells per drop HD aggregates showed a marked ability to attach and spread on the culture surface. The proliferative ability reduced when the initial cell density was increased. Comparing these methods, we found that the HD method having better size controlling ability as well as enhanced ability to maintain higher rates of viability, spreading, and proliferation. In conclusion, smaller HD aggregates might be a suitable choice as building blocks for making bioink particles in bioprinting technique.