Microfabrication of Cell-Laden Hydrogels for Engineering Mineralized and Load Bearing Tissues
Microengineering technologies and advanced biomaterials have extensive applications in the field of regenerative medicine. In this chapter, we review the integration of microfabrication techniques and hydrogel-based biomaterials in the field of dental, bone, and cartilage tissue engineering. We primarily discuss the major features that make hydrogels attractive candidates to mimic extracellular matrix (ECM), and we consider the benefits of three-dimensional (3D) culture systems for tissue engineering applications. We then focus on the fundamental principles of microfabrication techniques including photolithography, soft lithography and bioprinting approaches. Lastly, we summarize recent research on microengineering cell-laden hydrogel constructs for dental, bone and cartilage regeneration, and discuss future applications of microfabrication techniques for load-bearing tissue engineering.