On the reproducibility of extrusion-based bioprinting: round robin study on standardization in the field

  • chair:

    Grijalva Garces, D. / Strauß, S. / Gretzinger, S. / Schmieg, B. / Jüngst, T. / Groll, J. / Meinel, L. / Schmidt, I. / Hartmann, H. / Schenke-Layland, K. / Brandt, N. / Selzer, M. / Zimmermann, S. / Koltay, P. / Southan, A. / Tovar, G. E. M. / Schmidt, S. / Weber, A. / Ahlfeld, T. / Gelinsky, M. / Scheibel, T. / Detsch, R. / Boccaccini, A.R. / Naolou, T. / Lee-Thedieck, C. / Willems, C. / Groth, T. / Allgeier, S. / Köhler, B. / Friedrich, T. / Briesen, H. / Buchholz, J. / Paulus, D. / von Gladiss, A. / Hubbuch, J. (2024)

  • place:

    Biofabrication 2024,16, 1, DOI 10.1088/1758-5090/acfe3b

  • Date: Januar 2024
  • Abstract

    The outcome of three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting heavily depends, amongst others, on the interaction between the developed bioink, the printing process, and the printing equipment. However, if this interplay is ensured, bioprinting promises unmatched possibilities in the health care area. To pave the way for comparing newly developed biomaterials, clinical studies, and medical applications (i.e. printed organs, patient-specific tissues), there is a great need for standardization of manufacturing methods in order to enable technology transfers. Despite the importance of such standardization, there is currently a tremendous lack of empirical data that examines the reproducibility and robustness of production in more than one location at a time. In this work, we present data derived from a round robin test for extrusion-based 3D printing performance comprising 12 different academic laboratories throughout Germany and analyze the respective prints using automated image analysis (IA) in three independent academic groups. The fabrication of objects from polymer solutions was standardized as much as currently possible to allow studying the comparability of results from different laboratories. This study has led to the conclusion that current standardization conditions still leave room for the intervention of operators due to missing automation of the equipment. This affects significantly the reproducibility and comparability of bioprinting experiments in multiple laboratories. Nevertheless, automated IA proved to be a suitable methodology for quality assurance as three independently developed workflows achieved similar results. Moreover, the extracted data describing geometric features showed how the function of printers affects the quality of the printed object. A significant step toward standardization of the process was made as an infrastructure for distribution of material and methods, as well as for data transfer and storage was successfully established.