Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Technische Universitat Dresden (2022)
  • Master of Science, Technische Universitat Dresden (2016)
  • Bachelor of Science, Unlisted School (2014)
  • PhD, TU Dresden, Germany, Biomedical Engineering (2022)
  • MSc, CMCB / TU Dresden, Germany, Regenerative Biology and Medicine (2016)
  • BSc, Hochschule Kaiserslautern, Germany, Applied Life Sciences (2014)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Diffusion-Based 3D Bioprinting Strategies. Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany) Cai, B., Kilian, D., Ramos Mejia, D., Rios, R. J., Ali, A., Heilshorn, S. C. 2023: e2306470


    3D bioprinting has enabled the fabrication of tissue-mimetic constructs with freeform designs that include living cells. In the development of new bioprinting techniques, the controlled use of diffusion has become an emerging strategy to tailor the properties and geometry of printed constructs. Specifically, the diffusion of molecules with specialized functions, including crosslinkers, catalysts, growth factors, or viscosity-modulating agents, across the interface of printed constructs will directly affect material properties such as microstructure, stiffness, and biochemistry, all of which can impact cell phenotype. For example, diffusion-induced gelation is employed to generate constructs with multiple materials, dynamic mechanical properties, and perfusable geometries. In general, these diffusion-based bioprinting strategies can be categorized into those based on inward diffusion (i.e., into the printed ink from the surrounding air, solution, or support bath), outward diffusion (i.e., from the printed ink into the surroundings), or diffusion within the printed construct (i.e., from one zone to another). This review provides an overview of recent advances in diffusion-based bioprinting strategies, discusses emerging methods to characterize and predict diffusion in bioprinting, and highlights promising next steps in applying diffusion-based strategies to overcome current limitations in biofabrication.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/advs.202306470

    View details for PubMedID 38145962

  • Embedded 3d Bioprinting of Collagen Inks into Microgel Baths to control hydrogel Microstructure and Cell Spreading. Advanced healthcare materials Brunel, L. G., Christakopoulos, F., Kilian, D., Cai, B., Hull, S. M., Myung, D., Heilshorn, S. C. 2023: e2303325


    Microextrusion-based 3D bioprinting into support baths has emerged as a promising technique to pattern soft biomaterials into complex, macroscopic structures. We hypothesized that interactions between inks and support baths, which are often composed of granular microgels, could be modulated to control the microscopic structure within these macroscopic-printed constructs. Using printed collagen bioinks crosslinked either through physical self-assembly or bioorthogonal covalent chemistry, we demonstrate that microscopic porosity is introduced into collagen inks printed into microgel support baths but not bulk gel support baths. The overall porosity is governed by the ratio between the ink's shear viscosity and the microgel support bath's zero-shear viscosity. By adjusting the flow rate during extrusion, the ink's shear viscosity was modulated, thus controlling the extent of microscopic porosity independent of the ink composition. For covalently crosslinked collagen, printing into support baths comprised of gelatin microgels (15-50 µm) resulted in large pores (∼40 µm) that allowed human corneal mesenchymal stromal cells to readily spread, while control samples of cast collagen or collagen printed in non-granular support baths did not allow cell spreading. Taken together, these data demonstrate a new method to impart controlled microscale porosity into 3D printed hydrogels using granular microgel support baths. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/adhm.202303325

    View details for PubMedID 38134346

  • Gelation of Uniform Interfacial Diffusant in Embedded 3D Printing. Advanced functional materials Shin, S., Brunel, L. G., Cai, B., Kilian, D., Roth, J. G., Seymour, A. J., Heilshorn, S. C. 2023; 33 (50)


    While the human body has many different examples of perfusable structures with complex geometries, biofabrication methods to replicate this complexity are still lacking. Specifically, the fabrication of self-supporting, branched networks with multiple channel diameters is particularly challenging. Here, we present the Gelation of Uniform Interfacial Diffusant in Embedded 3D Printing (GUIDE-3DP) approach for constructing perfusable networks of interconnected channels with precise control over branching geometries and vessel sizes. To achieve user-specified channel dimensions, this technique leverages the predictable diffusion of crosslinking reaction-initiators released from sacrificial inks printed within a hydrogel precursor. We demonstrate the versatility of GUIDE-3DP to be adapted for use with diverse physicochemical crosslinking mechanisms by designing seven printable material systems. Importantly, GUIDE-3DP allows for the independent tunability of both the inner and outer diameters of the printed channels and the ability to fabricate seamless junctions at branch points. This 3D bioprinting platform is uniquely suited for fabricating lumenized structures with complex shapes characteristic of multiple hollow vessels throughout the body. As an exemplary application, we demonstrate the fabrication of vasculature-like networks lined with endothelial cells. GUIDE-3DP represents an important advance toward the fabrication of self-supporting, physiologically relevant networks with intricate and perfusable geometries.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/adfm.202307435

    View details for PubMedID 38646474

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC11031202

  • 3D printing microporous scaffolds from modular bioinks containing sacrificial, cell-encapsulating microgels. Biomaterials science Seymour, A. J., Kilian, D., Navarro, R. S., Hull, S. M., Heilshorn, S. C. 2023


    Microgel-based biomaterials have inherent porosity and are often extrudable, making them well-suited for 3D bioprinting applications. Cells are commonly introduced into these granular inks post-printing using cell infiltration. However, due to slow cell migration speeds, this strategy struggles to achieve depth-independent cell distributions within thick 3D printed geometries. To address this, we leverage granular ink modularity by combining two microgels with distinct functions: (1) structural, UV-crosslinkable microgels made from gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) and (2) sacrificial, cell-laden microgels made from oxidized alginate (AlgOx). We hypothesize that encapsulating cells within sacrificial AlgOx microgels would enable the simultaneous introduction of void space and release of cells at depths unachievable through cell infiltration alone. Blending the microgels in different ratios produces a family of highly printable GelMA : AlgOx microgel inks with void fractions ranging from 0.03 to 0.35. As expected, void fraction influences the morphology of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) within GelMA : AlgOx inks. Crucially, void fraction does not alter the ideal HUVEC distribution seen throughout the depth of 3D printed samples. This work presents a strategy for fabricating constructs with tunable porosity and depth-independent cell distribution, highlighting the promise of microgel-based inks for 3D bioprinting.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d3bm00721a

    View details for PubMedID 37824082

  • 3D printing microporous scaffolds from modular bioinks containing sacrificial, cell-encapsulating microgels BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE Seymour, A. J., Kilian, D., Navarro, R. S., Hull, S. M., Heilshorn, S. C. 2023

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d3bm00721

    View details for Web of Science ID 001081914900001

  • Gelation of Uniform Interfacial Diffusant in Embedded 3D Printing ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS Shin, S., Brunel, L. G., Cai, B., Kilian, D., Roth, J. G., Seymour, A. J., Heilshorn, S. C. 2023
  • Synergy of inorganic and organic inks in bioprinted tissue substitutes: Construct stability and cell response during long-term cultivation<i> in</i><i> vitro</i> COMPOSITES PART B-ENGINEERING Liu, S., Bernhardt, A., Wirsig, K., Lode, A., Hu, Q., Gelinsky, M., Kilian, D. 2023; 261