Bioprinted research models of urological malignancy

In this review, a series of bioprinted research models are presented for the fundamental research of urological malignancies. This review summarizes and discusses five aspects, including bioprinting technology, polymer-based inks, collection of seeding cells, culturing of cancer models, and the applications for biomedical research. Moreover, several current challenges and future directions are prospected and highlighted.


Urological malignancy (UM) is among the leading threats to health care worldwide. Recent years have seen much investment in fundamental UM research, including mechanistic investigation, early diagnosis, immunotherapy, and nanomedicine. However, the results are not fully satisfactory. Bioprinted research models (BRMs) with programmed spatial structures and functions can serve as powerful research tools and are likely to disrupt traditional UM research paradigms. Herein, a comprehensive review of BRMs of UM is presented. It begins with a brief introduction and comparison of existing UM research models, emphasizing the advantages of BRMs, such as modeling real tissues and organs. Six kinds of mainstream bioprinting techniques used to fabricate such BRMs are summarized with examples. Thereafter, research advances in the applications of UM BRMs, such as culturing tumor spheroids and organoids, modeling cancer metastasis, mimicking the tumor microenvironment, constructing organ chips for drug screening, and isolating circulating tumor cells, are comprehensively discussed. At the end of this review, current challenges and future development directions of BRMs and UM are highlighted from the perspective of interdisciplinary science.

Author list:

Guanyi Wang†, Xiongmin Mao†, Wang Wang†, Xiaolong Wang, Sheng Li*, Zijian Wang*

How to cite:

G. Wang, X. Mao, W. Wang, X. Wang, S. Li, Z. Wang, Exploration 2024, 20230126.