3D Printing Stem Cell Bio-Ink

3D printing accumulates finely articulated layers to create complex three dimensional objects by extruding the material through jets, like ink-jet printers. Stem cells have shown tremendous potential to regenerate and replace tissues in human bodies.

Using a polymer extracted from seaweed, researchers have created a “bio-ink” that contains stem cells and can be used in a 3D printer to print tissue structures. This opens the door to extract stem cells from a human, and print replacement bone or cartilage implants to be used in surgery.

A new bio-ink for 3D printing with stem cells – [bristol.ac.uk]

Scientists at the University of Bristol have developed a new kind of bio-ink, which could eventually allow the production of complex tissues for surgical implants.

The new stem cell-containing bio ink allows 3D printing of living tissue, known as bio-printing.

The new bio-ink contains two different polymer components: a natural polymer extracted from seaweed, and a sacrificial synthetic polymer used in the medical industry, and both had a role to play. The synthetic polymer causes the bio-ink to change from liquid to solid when the temperature is raised, and the seaweed polymer provides structural support when the cell nutrients are introduced.

3D Bioprinting Using a Templated Porous Bioink – [wiley.com]

In conclusion, the new bioink described herein offers a multitude of advantages for bioprinting, compared to single-component gel systems. We have shown that combining separate specialized, functional components can produce a smart soft biomaterial that can be extruded at high-resolution and effectively crosslinked to produce cytocompatible constructs with long-term structural fidelity. Moreover, by using F127 as a sacrificial guest, we were able to template both the macroscopic and microscopic structure, producing a porous alginate framework with upgraded mechanical properties and enhanced rheological characteristics. This provided a platform for tissue engineering using cell-laden prints, which resulted in widespread matrix production within a confined geometry, a result that opens up new opportunities for printing tissue constructs with complex physiological structure and represents a significant advance toward the ultimate goal of recapitulating physiological tissue structures in vitro.

SEE ALSO:
Rebuilding Our Bodies
Spray-on Skin Gun
Animals With Bonus Features
Fixing Brains With Engineered Neural Tissue

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