Skip to main content

In Space demonstration of 3D bio-printed vascularisation techniques



Organisational Unit
Implementation progress
30 July 2021

Duration: 36 months


Over the past years, 3D bioprinting has emerged as a key technology in tissue engineering. Despite the rapid progress in the field, the fabrication of bioactive vascular networks is still an open challenge. Although many studies have demonstrated the possibility of creating self-sustained hollow structures in specific experimental conditions, many limitations remain in printing complex vascular networks. Difficulties are driven by the soft extracellular matrix-based materials' inability to sustain the hollow vascular structures' weight.

The successful introduction of 3D bioprinting technology into space research showed that bioprinting in microgravity could mitigate the risk of producing inaccurate vascular architecture and enhance cell viability. This proposal's main idea is to develop a strategy for 3D bioprint self-standing vascular structures encapsulated with cells in microgravity conditions. In vitro vascular models provide an appropriate environment for studying tissue development, the influence of the fabricated network on blood vessel formation and cellular function in the space environment.

To produce an advanced system for printing hollow vascular models, we plan to develop a printable bioink suitable for space experiments, which contains extracellular matrix-based materials, endothelial and fibroblast cells, and, when needed, additional components used to fine-tune specific mechanical and/or biophysical properties. Bioink optimization will include studies and tests to find the balance between providing structural and biophysical support to cellular stability, viability and bioactivity in compliance with the constraints of a space mission.

Contract number
OSIP Idea Id
Related OSIP Campaign
Open Channel
Main application area
In Space demonstration of 3D bio-printed vascularisation techniques