Air-loaded Gas Vesicle Nanoparticles Promote Cell Growth in Three-dimensional Bioprinted Tissue Constructs

Salwa Alshehri, Ram Karan, Sarah Ghalayini, Kowther Kahin, Zainab Khan, Dominik Renn, Sam Mathew, Magnus Rueping*, Charlotte A.E. Hauser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting has emerged as a promising method for the engineering of tissues and organs. Still, it faces challenges in its widespread use due to issues with the development of bioink materials and the nutrient diffusion barrier inherent to these scaffold materials. Herein, we introduce a method to promote oxygen diffusion throughout the printed constructs using genetically encoded gas vesicles derived from haloarchaea. These hollow nanostructures are composed of a protein shell that allows gases to permeate freely while excluding the water flow. After printing cells with gas vesicles of various concentrations, the cells were observed to have increased activity and proliferation. These results suggest that air-filled gas vesicles can help overcome the diffusion barrier throughout the 3D bioprinted constructs by increasing oxygen availability to cells within the center of the construct. The biodegradable nature of the gas vesicle proteins combined with our promising results encourage their potential use as oxygen-promoting materials in biological samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Bioprinting
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Thorsten Allers for generously providing us with H. volcanii H1895 and its corresponding vector pTA963. We thank the research intern, Alvin Huang, for protein nanoparticle production and purification assistance. The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and University of Jeddah.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. Author(s). This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Gas vesicles
  • Halobacterium
  • Haloferax
  • Three-dimensional bioprinting
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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