Three-dimensionally printed constructs are static and do not recapitulate the dynamic nature of tissues. Four-dimensional (4D) bioprinting has emerged to include conformational changes in printed structures in a predetermined fashion using stimuli-responsive biomaterials and/or cells. The ability to make such dynamic constructs would enable an individual to fabricate tissue structures that can undergo morphological changes. Furthermore, other fields (bioactuation, biorobotics, and biosensing) will benefit from developments in 4D bioprinting. Here, the authors discuss stimuli-responsive biomaterials as potential bioinks for 4D bioprinting. Natural cell forces can also be incorporated into 4D bioprinted structures. The authors introduce mathematical modeling to predict the transition and final state of 4D printed constructs. Different potential applications of 4D bioprinting are also described. Finally, the authors highlight future perspectives for this emerging technology in biomedicine.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.