Sci Rep. 2023 Jan 21;13(1):1211. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-28286-9.
A key feature distinguishing 3D bioprinting from other 3D cell culture techniques is its precise control over created structures. This property allows for the high-resolution fabrication of biomimetic structures with controlled structural and mechanical properties such as porosity, permeability, and stiffness. However, analyzing post-printing cellular dynamics and optimizing their functions within the 3D fabricated environment is only possible through trial and error and replicating several experiments. This issue motivated the development of a cellular automata model for the first time to simulate post-printing cell behaviour within the 3D bioprinted construct. To improve our model, we bioprinted a 3D construct using MDA-MB-231 cell-laden hydrogel and evaluated cellular functions, including viability and proliferation in 11 days. The results showed that our model successfully simulated the 3D bioprinted structure and captured in-vitro observations. We demonstrated that in-silico model could predict and elucidate post-printing biological functions for different initial cell numbers in bioink and different bioink formulations with gelatine and alginate, without replicating several costly and time-consuming in-vitro measurements. We believe such a computational framework will substantially impact 3D bioprinting’s future application. We hope this study inspires researchers to further realize how an in-silico model might be utilized to advance in-vitro 3D bioprinting research.