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Special Issue "4th Dimensional Additive Biofabrication:- Crafting Bio-Functionality from Biomaterials, Cell Biology and Biofabrication Technologies"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Robert Michail Ivan Kapsa

University of Wollongong, Innovation Campus, Wollongong, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: develop autologous cell-based polymer technologies that restore the function of damaged and diseased CNS, PNS and muscle through the development of micro and nano-structured conducting and/or biodegradable polymer scaffold systems that control excitable cell systems by electrical stimulation with or without delivery of therapeutic factors, including pro and contra growth factors and therapeutic nucleic acids from the polymers.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Recent advances in additive biofabrication present new opportunities to create structures that can reproduce functional components of failing tissue/organ systems. As such, these synthetic tissue constructs (STCs) require balanced integration of scaffold and functional materials, fabrication processes, and biomolecular and cellular components to reproduce desired functionality in the engineered product.

In particular, translation of STCs to clinical outcomes requires transition of cellular, biomaterial and/or biofabrication processing from two-dimensional systems to three-dimensional systems in which structural and functional elements are more reflective of the native (in vivo) tissue systems for which the STCs are being constructed. In turn, this requires detailed knowledge as to the interplay of effects on cellular development elicited by cells’ exposure to materials, biomolecules and the fabrication processes used to construct the STCs.

This Special Edition of Materials deals with key aspects of additive biofabrication technologies that facilitate engineering of multimodal, multimaterial and multifunctional STCs towards multi-order complex “synthetic” biofunctionality of enhanced compliance with native tissue function.

Prof. Dr. Robert Michail Ivan Kapsa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biofabrication
  • Additive Biofabrication
  • Muscle
  • Nerve
  • Neural Tissue
  • Cartilage
  • Bone
  • Bioprinting
  • 3D Printing
  • Tissue Constructs
  • Wet Spinning
  • Electrospinning
  • Biomimetics
  • Bionics
  • Synthetic Tissue Constructs
  • Function Engineering

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Protocols for Culturing and Imaging a Human Ex Vivo Osteochondral Model for Cartilage Biomanufacturing Applications
Materials 2019, 12(4), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12040640
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
PDF Full-text (7144 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Cartilage defects and diseases remain major clinical issues in orthopaedics. Biomanufacturing is now a tangible option for the delivery of bioscaffolds capable of regenerating the deficient cartilage tissue. However, several limitations of in vitro and experimental animal models pose serious challenges to the [...] Read more.
Cartilage defects and diseases remain major clinical issues in orthopaedics. Biomanufacturing is now a tangible option for the delivery of bioscaffolds capable of regenerating the deficient cartilage tissue. However, several limitations of in vitro and experimental animal models pose serious challenges to the translation of preclinical findings into clinical practice. Ex vivo models are of great value for translating in vitro tissue engineered approaches into clinically relevant conditions. Our aim is to obtain a viable human osteochondral (OC) model to test hydrogel-based materials for cartilage repair. Here we describe a detailed step-by-step framework for the generation of human OC plugs, their culture in a perfusion device and the processing procedures for histological and advanced microscopy imaging. Our ex vivo OC model fulfils the following requirements: the model is metabolically stable for a relevant culture period of 4 weeks in a perfusion bioreactor, the processing procedures allowed for the analysis of 3 different tissues or materials (cartilage, bone and hydrogel) without compromising their integrity. We determined a protocol and the settings for a non-linear microscopy technique on label free sections. Furthermore, we established a clearing protocol to perform light sheet-based observations on the cartilage layer without the need for tedious and destructive histological procedures. Finally, we showed that our OC system is a clinically relevant in terms of cartilage regeneration potential. In conclusion, this OC model represents a valuable preclinical ex vivo tool for studying cartilage therapies, such as hydrogel-based bioscaffolds, and we envision it will reduce the number of animals needed for in vivo testing. Full article

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