Biofabrication is the automated production of tissues and organs to address health challenges in medicine. It uses the principles of additive manufacturing – often termed 3D printing – to combine cells, gels and materials into a single construct that can replace a diseased or injured tissue. The final product is often complex and contains a number of various components including structural and cellular constituents. It is distinguished from tissue engineering in the use of automation in the fabrication of the tissue construct.
3D bioprinting is one technique used within biofabrication. Initially used as a rudimentary extrusion technique, recent advances in granular hydrogels, volumetric bioprinting and modular tissue assembly give diversity to the young 3D bioprinting field.