Theranostics 2021; 11(14):6818-6832. doi:10.7150/thno.58421 This issue

Research Paper

The utility of biomedical scaffolds laden with spheroids in various tissue engineering applications

SooJung Chae1*, Jiyoung Hong1*, Hanjun Hwangbo1, GeunHyung Kim1,2✉

1. Department of Biomechatronic Engineering, College of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Suwon 16419, Republic of Korea.
2. Biomedical Institute for Convergence at SKKU (BICS), Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419, Republic of Korea.
*These authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Chae S, Hong J, Hwangbo H, Kim G. The utility of biomedical scaffolds laden with spheroids in various tissue engineering applications. Theranostics 2021; 11(14):6818-6832. doi:10.7150/thno.58421. Available from

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Graphic abstract

A spheroid is a complex, spherical cellular aggregate supporting cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in an environment that mimics the real-world situation. In terms of tissue engineering, spheroids are important building blocks that replace two-dimensional cell cultures. Spheroids replicate tissue physiological activities. The use of spheroids with/without scaffolds yields structures that engage in desired activities and replicate the complicated geometry of three-dimensional tissues. In this mini-review, we describe conventional and novel methods by which scaffold-free and scaffolded spheroids may be fabricated and discuss their applications in tissue regeneration and future perspectives.

Keywords: spheroid, tissue engineering, spheroid application, scaffold-free, scaffolded