Much as a frame provides structural support for a house and the chassis provides strength and shape for a car, a team of Penn State engineers believe they have a way to create the structural framework for growing living tissue using an off-the-shelf 3-D printer.
“We are trying to make stem-cell-loaded hydrogels reinforced with fibers like the rebar in cement,” said Justin L. Brown, associate professor of biomedical engineering. “If we can lend some structure to the gel, we can grow living cells in defined patterns and eventually the fibers will dissolve and go away.”
The researchers’ report in a recent issue of the Journal of Advanced Healthcare Materials that their aim is to create a novel, low-cost and efficient method to fabricate high-resolution and repeatable 3-D polymer fiber patterns on nonconductive materials for tissue engineering with available hobbyist-grade 3-D printers. The method they use is a combination of 3-D printing and electrospinning, a method that uses electric charge to spin nanometer threads from either a polymer melt or solution.
Currently nearly all complex transplant tissues, from hearts and kidneys to tendons, come from living or dead donors. The researchers are looking for a way to grow replacement tissues reliably using inexpensive methods. The combination of 3-D printing and electrospinning to produce a scaffold for tissue engineering might also enable production of combined muscles and tendons, or tendons and cartilage, for example.
“The overarching idea is that if we could multiplex electrospinning with a collagen gel and bioprinting, we could build large and complex tissue interfaces, such as bone to cartilage,” said Pouria Fattahi, doctoral student in bioengineering. “Others have created these combination tissues using a microextrusion bioprinter.”
These current strategies create the different tissues separately and then combine them using some type of adhesive or connector. However, in the body, tissues such as cartilage and bone, and tendons and muscles, grow seamlessly together.
The researchers’ apparatus uses the electrospinner to replace the extruder nozzle on the 3-D printer. The printer can deposit a precise pattern of fibers in three dimensions to form a scaffold in a hydrogel on which cells can grow. Once the tissue has grown sufficiently, the scaffolding can be dissolved, leaving only a structured tissue appropriate for use.
If two different tissues — muscle and tendon — are needed, the 3-D printer can alter the pattern of threads in such a way that the transition could be seamless with the appropriate cells, resulting in a naturally formed, two-part tissue replacement.
Currently, the researchers are working on tissues that are a little less than 1 inch cubes, but even that might have some utility.
“The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is only about 2 to 3 centimeters (.8 to 1 inch) long and 1 centimeter (.8 inches) wide,” said Fattahi.
Using near-field electrospinning, the researchers first produced exceptionally thin threads in the micron and nanometer range. They next showed that they could grow cells on these fibers and finally, deposited patterned fibers into a collagen gel loaded with cells.
The Latest on: Replacement tissues
- NIH-funded study finds replacement therapy reversed effects in tissue experiments on June 8, 2018 at 11:43 pm
Scientists have discovered that the absence of a specific protein in cells lining the esophagus may cause inflammation and tissue damage in people with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). EoE affects as m... […]
- Investigation of metal deposition in organs after joint replacement on March 20, 2018 at 8:42 am
A team of researchers used tissue samples from the liver, spleen and heart of five patients who had undergone a hip replacement. Preparatory work guided the choice of tissue areas to be examined more ... […]
- United States Tissue Heart Valves Market Report 2017-2018 on December 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm
The porcine heart is most similar to the human heart and therefore represents the best anatomical fit for replacement. The tissue of the pericardial sac is particularly well suited for a valve leaflet ... […]
- How 3D Bioprinting Could Revolutionize Organ Replacement on November 22, 2017 at 2:47 am
More than 100,000 people in the United States need an organ replacement, but there is a critical shortage ... it allowed human cells to thrive and live in it, and start producing tissue," he says. CEL... […]
- $21.312 Billion Soft Tissue Repair Market 2017 - Global Forecast To 2023 on May 15, 2017 at 8:28 am
the soft tissue repair products are segmented into hernia repair, dental reconstruction, vaginal sling procedure, skin repair, breast reconstruction, orthopedic (dural repair and sports medicine), car... […]
- Soft Tissue Repair Global Market Report 2017 - By Products, Surgery, Application & Region - Increased Incidents of Soft Tissue Injuries - Research and Markets on April 25, 2017 at 7:42 am
DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Soft Tissue Repair Global Market ... valve replacement, biological heart valve replacement, annuloplasty ring, MitraCli... […]
- UNM researchers using 3-D printer to create replacement human tissue on February 23, 2017 at 7:12 am
KRQE News 13 reported Wednesday that the UNM Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation received a $20,000 grant to use specific patient anatomy to develop human tissue. Thursday, researchers gave K... […]
- Arab-Jewish startup raises 2.5 million NIS for tissue repair R&D on December 20, 2016 at 3:44 am
Nurami Medical is developing an innovative technology platform for soft tissue replacement and repair. The first product on the market is a synthetic, biodegradable replacement for the dura mater tiss... […]
- Scientists Just 3D Printed a Transplantable Human Ear on February 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm
Scientists have developed an innovative 3D bioprinter capable of generating replacement tissue that’s strong enough to withstand ... [0.07 inches], which is extremely small,” Atala told Gizmodo. “That ... […]
- Scientists prove feasibility of 'printing' replacement tissue on February 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm
The Integrated Tissue-Organ Printing System at work printing a jaw bone structure. Credit: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Using a sophisticated, custom-designed 3D printer, regenerati... […]
via Google News and Bing News