Laser printing of skin cells and human stem cells

Lothar Koch*, Stefanie Kuhn, Heiko Sorg, Martin Gruene, Sabrina Schlie, Ralf Gaebel, Bianca Polchow, Kerstin Reimers, Stephanie Stoelting, Nan Ma, Peter M. Vogt, Gustav Steinhoff, Boris Chichkov

*Corresponding author for this work
156 Citations (Scopus)


Laser printing based on laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) is a new biofabrication technique for the arrangement of biological materials or living cells in well-defined patterns. In the current study, skin cell lines (fibroblasts/keratinocytes) and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) were chosen for laser printing experiments due to their high potential in regeneration of human skin and new application possibilities of stem cell therapy. To evaluate the influence of LIFT on the cells, their survival rate, their proliferation and apoptotic activity, and the DNA damages and modifications of their cell surface markers were assessed and statistically evaluated over several days. The cells survived the transfer procedure with a rate of 98%±1% standard error of the mean (skin cells) and 90%±10% (hMSC), respectively. All used cell types maintain their ability to proliferate after LIFT. Further, skin cells and hMSC did not show an increase of apoptosis or DNA fragmentation. In addition, the hMSC keep their phenotype as proven by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. This study demonstrates LIFT as a suitable technique for unharmed computer-controlled positioning of different cell types and a promising tool for future applications in the ex vivo generation of tissue replacements.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)847-854
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2010


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