AccScience Publishing / IJB / Online First / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.1727
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Vascularization strategies for human skin tissue engineering via 3D bioprinting

Arvind Kumar Shukla1 Dongjun Lee2 Sik Yoon3,4 Minjun Ahn5* Byoung Soo Kim1,5*
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1 School of Biomedical Convergence Engineering, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Convergence Medicine, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Yangsan, Republic of Korea
3 Department of Anatomy and Convergence Medical Sciences, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Yangsan, Republic of Korea
4 Immune Reconstitution Research Center of Medical Research Institute, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Yangsan, Republic of Korea
5 Medical Research Institute, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Republic of Korea
Submitted: 31 August 2023 | Accepted: 20 November 2023 | Published: 28 January 2024
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D printing for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine)
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

The skin is composed of many cells that are organized into different layers and connected by dense and complex vascular networks. This creates a dynamic microenvironment in which cells interact within the matrix. Significant advancements have been made in this field over the past decade, and various strategies have been developed for accelerating and enhancing skin regeneration. The primary challenge for successful skin grafts is the integration of the functional vasculature, which can supply essential nutrients and oxygen to cell-laden structures and damaged native tissues. An inadequate vascular network can lead to ischemia, which can cause slow wound healing—particularly in the case of chronic skin conditions. Therefore, blood vessel formation remains one of the most significant obstacles that skin tissue engineering must overcome to create vascularized skin tissue substitutes with specific living cells. Technological advances can augment effective vascularization. The three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting platform is a promising technology that allows precise deposition of living cells and bioactive materials. The application of this technology to skin tissue engineering can provide solutions for augmenting pre-vascularization in engineered in vitro skin models and in vivo skin substitutes. This review presents the significance of skin vascularization in in vitro modeling and in vivo wound healing. Various strategies and related applications involving 3D bioprinting technology are introduced for the biofabrication of enhanced vascularized skin in vitro and in vivo, followed by a discussion of their limitations and future research directions.

Human skin
3D bioprinting
Regenerative medicine
This work was supported by Pusan National University Research Grant, 2021 and by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2022R1A5A2027161, 2022R1C1C1004803, and RS-2023-00214149) and by the Institute of Civil-Military Technology Cooperation funded by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration and Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of the Korean government (No. 22-CM-BR-12).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing