High-throughput bioprinting of the nasal epithelium using patient-derived nasal epithelial cells

I. Deniz Derman, Miji Yeo, Diana Cadena Castaneda, Megan Callender, Mian Horvath, Zengshuo Mo, Ruoyun Xiong, Elizabeth Fleming, Phylip Chen, Mark E. Peeples, Karolina Palucka, Julia Oh, Ibrahim T. Ozbolat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Progenitor human nasal epithelial cells (hNECs) are an essential cell source for the reconstruction of the respiratory pseudostratified columnar epithelium composed of multiple cell types in the context of infection studies and disease modeling. Hitherto, manual seeding has been the dominant method for creating nasal epithelial tissue models through biofabrication. However, this approach has limitations in terms of achieving the intricate three-dimensional (3D) structure of the natural nasal epithelium. 3D bioprinting has been utilized to reconstruct various epithelial tissue models, such as cutaneous, intestinal, alveolar, and bronchial epithelium, but there has been no attempt to use of 3D bioprinting technologies for reconstruction of the nasal epithelium. In this study, for the first time, we demonstrate the reconstruction of the nasal epithelium with the use of primary hNECs deposited on Transwell inserts via droplet-based bioprinting (DBB), which enabled high-throughput fabrication of the nasal epithelium in Transwell inserts of 24-well plates. DBB of progenitor hNECs ranging from one-tenth to one-half of the cell seeding density employed during the conventional cell seeding approach enabled a high degree of differentiation with the presence of cilia and tight-junctions over a 4 weeks air-liquid interface culture. Single cell RNA sequencing of these cultures identified five major epithelial cells populations, including basal, suprabasal, goblet, club, and ciliated cells. These cultures recapitulated the pseudostratified columnar epithelial architecture present in the native nasal epithelium and were permissive to respiratory virus infection. These results denote the potential of 3D bioprinting for high-throughput fabrication of nasal epithelial tissue models not only for infection studies but also for other purposes, such as disease modeling, immunological studies, and drug screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044103
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this