Archive for the ‘bioprinting’ category

May 24, 2023

This Real Fish Fillet Was 3D Printed From Cells Grown in a Lab

Posted by in category: bioprinting

Cultured meat is gaining momentum, with large production facilities under construction and the arduous approval process for the finished products inching forward. Most of the industry’s focus thus far has been on ground beef, chicken, pork, and steak. Save for one startup that was working on lab-grown salmon, fish have been largely left out of the fray.

But last month an Israeli company called Steakholder Foods announced it had 3D printed a ready-to-cook fish fillet using cells grown in a bioreactor. The company says the fish is the first of its kind in the world, and they’re aiming to commercialize the 3D bioprinter used to create it.

Steakholder Foods didn’t produce the fish cells it used to print the fillet. They partnered with Umami Meats, a Singapore-based company working on cultured seafood. Umami created the fish cells the same way companies like Believer Meats and Good Meat create lab-grown chicken or beef: they extract cells from a fish (in a process that doesn’t harm it) and mix those cells with a cocktail of nutrients to make them divide, multiply, and mature. They signal the cells to turn into muscle and fat, which they then harvest and form into a finished product.

May 5, 2023

Bioprinting at the Molecular Level and Even DNA

Posted by in categories: bioprinting, biotech/medical

Will new molecular bioprinting technologies soon allow us to print our DNA?

Other research points to a future when we will be able to print DNA, nucleotide by nucleotide.

Apr 3, 2023

3D Printing of Body Parts Gets an Upgrade

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

An Australian team of scientists and engineers invent a tiny, flexible, and soft robotic arm to 3D print biomaterial inside a human body.

The F3DB is a proof-of-concept 3D bioprinter that can be inserted into the body to make repairs to damaged tissue.

Mar 19, 2023

This insertable 3D printer will repair tissue damage from the inside

Posted by in categories: bioprinting, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Researchers at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, have developed a flexible 3D bioprinter that can layer organic material directly onto organs or tissue. Unlike other bioprinting approaches, this system would only be minimally invasive, perhaps helping to avoid major surgeries or the removal of organs. It sounds like the future — at least in theory — but the research team warns it’s still five to seven years away from human testing.

The printer, dubbed F3DB, has a soft robotic arm that can assemble biomaterials with living cells onto damaged internal organs or tissues. Its snake-like flexible body would enter the body through the mouth or anus, with a pilot / surgeon guiding it toward the injured area using hand gestures. In addition, it has jets that can spray water onto the target area, and its printing nozzle can double as an electric scalpel. The team hopes its multifunctional approach could someday be an all-in-one tool (incising, cleaning and printing) for minimally invasive operations.

Continue reading “This insertable 3D printer will repair tissue damage from the inside” »

Feb 27, 2023

3D bioprinting inside the human body could be possible thanks to new soft robot

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, bioprinting, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Engineers from UNSW Sydney have developed a miniature and flexible soft robotic arm which could be used to 3D print biomaterial directly onto organs inside a person’s body.

3D bioprinting is a process whereby biomedical parts are fabricated from so-called bioink to construct natural tissue-like structures.

Continue reading “3D bioprinting inside the human body could be possible thanks to new soft robot” »

Dec 31, 2022

Microfluidic bioprinting of tough hydrogel-based vascular conduits for functional blood vessels

Posted by in categories: bioprinting, biotech/medical

Rationally designed bioinks enable bioprinting of mechanically and physiologically relevant vascular conduits.

Dec 15, 2022

Skin bioprinting: the future of burn wound reconstruction?

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, bioprinting, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

In addition to laser-assisted bioprinting, other light-based 3D bioprinting techniques include digital light processing (DLP) and two-photon polymerization (TPP)-based 3D bioprinting. DLP uses a digital micro-mirror device to project a patterned mask of ultraviolet (UV)/visible range light onto a polymer solution, which in turn results in photopolymerization of the polymer in contact [56, 57]. DLP can achieve high resolution with rapid printing speed regardless of the layer’s complexity and area. In this method of 3D bioprinting, the dynamics of the polymerization can be regulated by modulating the power of the light source, the printing rate, and the type and concentrations of the photoinitiators used. TPP, on the other hand, utilizes a focused near-infrared femtosecond laser of wavelength 800 nm to induce polymerization of the monomer solution [56]. TPP can provide a very high resolution beyond the light diffraction limit since two-photon absorption only happens in the center region of the laser focal spot where the energy is above the threshold to trigger two-photon absorption [56].

The recent development of the integrated tissue and organ printer (ITOP) by our group allows for bioprinting of human scale tissues of any shape [45]. The ITOP facilitates bioprinting with very high precision; it has a resolution of 50 μm for cells and 2 μm for scaffolding materials. This enables recapitulation of heterocellular tissue biology and allows for fabrication of functional tissues. The ITOP is configured to deliver the bioink within a stronger water-soluble gel, Pluronic F-127, that helps the printed cells to maintain their shape during the printing process. Thereafter, the Pluronic F-127 scaffolding is simply washed away from the bioprinted tissue. To ensure adequate oxygen diffusion into the bioprinted tissue, microchannels are created with the biodegradable polymer, polycaprolactone (PCL). Stable human-scale ear cartilage, bone, and skeletal muscle structures were printed with the ITOP, which when implanted in animal models, matured into functional tissue and developed a network of blood vessels and nerves [45]. In addition to the use of materials such as Pluronic F-127 and PCL for support scaffolds, other strategies for improving structural integrity of the 3D bioprinted constructs include the use of suitable thickening agents such as hydroxyapatite particles, nanocellulose, and Xanthan and gellan gum. Further, the use of hydrogel mixtures instead of a single hydrogel is a helpful strategy. For example, the use of gelatin-methacrylamide (GelMA)/hyaluronic acid (HA) mixture instead of GelMA alone shows enhanced printability since HA improves the viscosity of mixture while crosslinking of GelMA retains post-printing structural integrity [58].

To date, several studies have investigated skin bioprinting as a novel approach to reconstruct functional skin tissue [44, 59,60,61,62,63,64,65,66,67]. Some of the advantages of fabrication of skin constructs using bioprinting compared to other conventional tissue engineering strategies are the automation and standardization for clinical application and precision in deposition of cells. Although conventional tissue engineering strategies (i.e., culturing cells on a scaffold and maturation in a bioreactor) might currently achieve similar results to bioprinting, there are still many aspects that require improvements in the production process of the skin, including the long production times to obtain large surfaces required to cover the entire burn wounds [67]. There are two different approaches to skin bioprinting: in situ bioprinting and in vitro bioprinting. Both these approaches are similar except for the site of printing and tissue maturation. In situ bioprinting involves direct printing of pre-cultured cells onto the site of injury for wound closure allowing for skin maturation at the wound site. The use of in situ bioprinting for burn wound reconstruction provides several advantages, including precise deposition of cells on the wound, elimination of the need for expensive and time-consuming in vitro differentiation, and the need for multiple surgeries [68]. In the case of in vitro bioprinting, printing is done in vitro and the bioprinted skin is allowed to mature in a bioreactor, after which it is transplanted to the wound site. Our group is working on developing approaches for in situ bioprinting [69]. An inkjet-based bioprinting system was developed to print primary human keratinocytes and fibroblasts on dorsal full-thickness (3 cm × 2.5 cm) wounds in athymic nude mice. First, fibroblasts (1.0 × 105 cells/cm2) incorporated into fibrinogen/collagen hydrogels were printed on the wounds, followed by a layer of keratinocytes (1.0 × 107 cells/cm2) above the fibroblast layer [69]. Complete re-epithelialization was achieved in these relatively large wounds after 8 weeks. This bioprinting system involves the use of a novel cartridge-based delivery system for deposition of cells at the site of injury. A laser scanner scans the wound and creates a map of the missing skin, and fibroblasts and keratinocytes are printed directly on to this area. These cells then form the dermis and epidermis, respectively. This was further validated in a pig wound model, wherein larger wounds (10 cm × 10 cm) were treated by printing a layer of fibroblasts followed by keratinocytes (10 million cells each) [69]. Wound healing and complete re-epithelialization were observed by 8 weeks. This pivotal work shows the potential of using in situ bioprinting approaches for wound healing and skin regeneration. Clinical studies are currently in progress with this in situ bioprinting system. In another study, amniotic fluid-derived stem cells (AFSCs) were bioprinted directly onto full-thickness dorsal skin wounds (2 cm × 2 cm) of nu/nu mice using a pressure-driven, computer-controlled bioprinting device [44]. AFSCs and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells were suspended in fibrin-collagen gel, mixed with thrombin solution (a crosslinking agent), and then printed onto the wound site. Two layers of fibrin-collagen gel and thrombin were printed on the wounds. Bioprinting enabled effective wound closure and re-epithelialization likely through a growth factor-mediated mechanism by the stem cells. These studies indicate the potential of using in situ bioprinting for treatment of large wounds and burns.

Nov 29, 2022

Volumetric Bioprinter 3D Prints Liver Organoids in Less than 20 Seconds

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting

Volumetric 3D printing is an exciting technology that could lead to extremely rapid production of 3D printed parts by curing every particle of the object at once. Now, researchers from Utrecht University are applying the process to bioprinting and have 3D printed functioning liver units at centimeter scale in less than 20 seconds. The results were published in Advanced Materials.

Nov 23, 2022

3D Printing in Breast Reconstruction: From Bench to Bed

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, bioprinting, biotech/medical, computing

Circa 2021:3

Surgical management of breast cancer often results in the absence of the breast. However, existing breast reconstruction methods may not meet the need for a replacement tissue. Tissue engineering with the use of emerging materials offers the promise of generating appropriate replacements. Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology has seen a significantly increased interest and application in medically-related fields in the recent years. This has been especially true in complex medical situations particularly when abnormal or complicated anatomical surgical considerations or precise reconstructive procedures are contemplated. In addition, 3D bio-printing which combines cells with bio-material scaffolds offers an exciting technology with significant applications in the field of tissue engineering. The purpose of this manuscript was to review a number of studies in which 3D printing technology has been used in breast reconstructive surgical procedures, and future directions and applications of 3D bio-printing.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among US women and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death among women as of 2019. Because ~268,600 (almost six times than DCIS) new cases prove to be an invasive type of breast cancer (1), many women had to choose the removal of the breast, with immediate consideration for a replacement tissue. Although this was satisfactory in many patients, either saline or gel-filled breast implants (2) do carry real risks of complications such as infection, capsular contracture, implant dislocation, or deformities (3, 4). The option of autologous reconstruction can be more texturally natural aesthetically, but it requires a more complex procedure, significant time and expense, and possible muscle weakness or hernia formation at the tissue donor site (5). Tissue engineering intends to address these limitations by combining the 3D printing technology with synthetic or natural structural elements.

Continue reading “3D Printing in Breast Reconstruction: From Bench to Bed” »

Nov 23, 2022

Landmark Transplant Turns 3D Bioprinting on Its Ear

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical

A reconstructed ear made of living cells could herald a new era of 3D-printed organs.

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