The long term goal of our work is to develop a fabrication technique that allows precision placement of cells inside biomaterial constructs. Such spatial and temporal control of the chemistry and pattern geometry can provide new insights into fundamental aspects of cell-surface interactions. For example, cellular development can be dramatically effected by constraining cells to spread over a specific cell-surface contact area. The cell and biomaterial printing techniques developed here may prove particularly useful for exploring the interactions of anchorage-dependent cells with their environment in vitro. Our recent studies addressed the simultaneous printing of endothelial cells and biomaterials. The studies further demonstrated that cells can be printed onto polymer scaffolds or fibers without significant loss of cell activity. A combination of these methods may result in the construction of vascularized tissue with mechanical properties approaching those of native tissue.

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