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Existing two-dimensional (2D) in vitro cell culture experiments, which are the standard for the initial screening for drug compounds, do not replicate the in vivo tissue microenvironment, and animal experiments, which are conducted as the gold standard for biological testing, cannot be fully relied upon to predict the response in humans. Therefore, despite the total cost involved in the drug development process exceeding $1 billion USD, over 90% of drugs entering clinical trials ultimately fail. Thus, also driven by worldwide efforts to reduce the use of animals for biosafety testing, the research on 3D tissue modelling has been expanded into the field of biomicroengineering. A 3D in vitro tissue model that can accurately capture the diversity of the in vivo microenvironment and the complexity of physiological or pathophysiological conditions offers the potential to better understand the possible treatment options and approaches regarding pathologies of interest. Therefore, the development of a 3D tissue model signifies a bright future for new drug development.

3D tissue modelling is an advanced modern approach in biomedical engineering. It offers the prospect of creating complex 3D tissues or organs in vitro by integrating technologies from engineering, biomaterials science, cell biology, physics, and medicine. Recent applications of 3D tissue modelling have provided valuable information on the current state-of-the-art in biomedical fields and in advanced biofabrication technologies.

The research into the 3D in vitro modelling platform has developed significantly in recent years but remains at an inchoate stage for preclinical applications. If we approach regulation in a more practical and less rigorous way in terms of both the technical and biological aspects of the development of the 3D tissue model, I believe that we can refrain from making various detours and steer this in the right direction for preclinical applications. Therefore, the present work reviews all relevant information on the principles, fabrication technologies, applications, and future perspectives of 3D tissue modelling in a one-stop resource for academics. The book will describe the principles of 3D tissue modelling and review the fabrication methods and processes of 3D tissue models, including various microfluidics, microfabrication, and 3D bioprinting technologies. It will also describe materials such as the synthetic, natural, and tissue-derived (decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM)) bio-inks that are used for 3D tissue modelling. The review on the broad applications of 3D tissue modelling will include specific examples and case studies and will cover tissue engineering for therapeutic purposes and the development of in vitro tissue models to screen drugs or to study diseases. Current challenges and future perspectives of 3D tissue modelling will also be discussed. To this end, we gathered outstanding experts from each important field with the intention that this book will serve as a navigational aid for researchers who want to develop in vitro tissue models.

We would like to express our gratitude to all authors, the Royal Society Chemistry publishing team, and Dr Ju Young Park, Prof. Jinah Jang, and Jae Yun Kim who contributed to this book.

Dong-Woo Cho

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