Three-Dimensional Bioprinting of Articular Cartilage: A Systematic Review

Yang Wu, Patrick Kennedy, Nicholas Bonazza, Yin Yu, Aman Dhawan, Ibrahim Ozbolat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: Treatment of chondral injury is clinically challenging. Available chondral repair/regeneration techniques have significant shortcomings. A viable and durable tissue engineering strategy for articular cartilage repair remains an unmet need. Our objective was to systematically evaluate the published data on bioprinted articular cartilage with regards to scaffold-based, scaffold-free and in situ cartilage bioprinting. Design: We performed a systematic review of studies using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. PubMed and ScienceDirect databases were searched and all articles evaluating the use of 3-dimensional (3D) bioprinting in articular cartilage were included. Inclusion criteria included studies written in or translated to English, published in a peer-reviewed journal, and specifically discussing bioinks and/or bioprinting of living cells related to articular cartilage applications. Review papers, articles in a foreign language, and studies not involving bioprinting of living cells related to articular cartilage applications were excluded. Results: Twenty-seven studies for articular cartilage bioprinting were identified that met inclusion and exclusion criteria. The technologies, materials, cell types used in these studies, and the biological and physical properties of the created constructs have been demonstrated. Conclusion: These 27 studies have demonstrated 3D bioprinting of articular cartilage to be a tissue engineering strategy that has tremendous potential translational value. The unique abilities of the varied techniques allow replication of mechanical properties and advances toward zonal differentiation. This review demonstrates that bioprinting has great capacity for clinical cartilage reconstruction and future in vivo implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-92
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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