Volumetric Bioprinting of Organoids and Optically Tuned Hydrogels to Build Liver-Like Metabolic Biofactories

Paulina N. Bernal, Manon C. Bouwmeester, JM Wolff, Marc Falandt, Sammy Florczak, Nuria Ginés Rodriguez, Yang Li, Gabriel Größbacher, Roos-Anne Samsom, Monique E. van Wolferen, Luc van der Laan, Paul Delrot, Damien Loterie, Jos Malda, Christophe Moser, Bart Spee, Riccardo Levato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Organ- and tissue-level biological functions are intimately linked to microscale cell–cell interactions and to the overarching tissue architecture. Together, biofabrication and organoid technologies offer the unique potential to engineer multi-scale living constructs, with cellular microenvironments formed by stem cell self-assembled structures embedded in customizable bioprinted geometries. This study introduces the volumetric bioprinting of complex organoid-laden constructs, which capture key functions of the human liver. Volumetric bioprinting via optical tomography shapes organoid-laden gelatin hydrogels into complex centimeter-scale 3D structures in under 20 s. Optically tuned bioresins enable refractive index matching of specific intracellular structures, countering the disruptive impact of cell-mediated light scattering on printing resolution. This layerless, nozzle-free technique poses no harmful mechanical stresses on organoids, resulting in superior viability and morphology preservation post-printing. Bioprinted organoids undergo hepatocytic differentiation showing albumin synthesis, liver-specific enzyme activity, and remarkably acquired native-like polarization. Organoids embedded within low stiffness gelatins (<2 kPa) are bioprinted into mathematically defined lattices with varying degrees of pore network tortuosity, and cultured under perfusion. These structures act as metabolic biofactories in which liver-specific ammonia detoxification can be enhanced by the architectural profile of the constructs. This technology opens up new possibilities for regenerative medicine and personalized drug testing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2110054
Number of pages16
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number15
Early online date15 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2022


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