Translational application of microfluidics and bioprinting for stem cell-based cartilage repair

Silvia Lopa, Carlotta Mondadori, Valerio Luca Mainardi, Giuseppe Talò, Marco Costantini, Christian Candrian, Wojciech Swieszkowski, Matteo Moretti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cartilage defects can impair the most elementary daily activities and, if not properly treated, can lead to the complete loss of articular function. The limitations of standard treatments for cartilage repair have triggered the development of stem cell-based therapies. In this scenario, the development of efficient cell differentiation protocols and the design of proper biomaterial-based supports to deliver cells to the injury site need to be addressed through basic and applied research to fully exploit the potential of stem cells. Here, we discuss the use of microfluidics and bioprinting approaches for the translation of stem cell-based therapy for cartilage repair in clinics. In particular, we will focus on the optimization of hydrogel-based materials to mimic the articular cartilage triggered by their use as bioinks in 3D bioprinting applications, on the screening of biochemical and biophysical factors through microfluidic devices to enhance stem cell chondrogenesis, and on the use of microfluidic technology to generate implantable constructs with a complex geometry. Finally, we will describe some new bioprinting applications that pave the way to the clinical use of stem cell-based therapies, such as scaffold-free bioprinting and the development of a 3D handheld device for the in situ repair of cartilage defects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6594841
JournalStem Cells International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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