Researchers from EPFL and the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands have developed an extremely fast optical method for sculpting complex shapes in stem-cell-laden hydrogels and then vascularizing the resulting tissue. Their groundbreaking technique stands to change the field of tissue engineering.
Tissue engineers create artificial organs and tissues that can be used to develop and test new drugs, repair damaged tissue and even replace entire organs in the human body. However, current fabrication methods limit their ability to produce free-form shapes and achieve high cell viability.
Researchers at the Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices (LAPD), in EPFL’s School of Engineering, working with colleagues from Utrecht University, have come up with an optical technique that takes just a few seconds to sculpt complex tissue shapes in a biocompatible hydrogel containing stem cells. The resulting tissue can then be vascularized by adding endothelial cells.
The team describes this high-resolution printing method in an article appearing in Advanced Materials. The technique will change the way cellular engineering specialists work, allowing them to create a new breed of personalized, functional bioprinted organs.
Printing a femur or a meniscus
The technique is called volumetric bioprinting. To create tissue, the researchers project a laser down a spinning tube filled with a stem-cell-laden hydrogel. They shape the tissue by focusing the energy from the light at specific locations, which then solidify. After just a few seconds, a complex 3D shape appears, suspended in the gel. The stem cells in the hydrogel are largely unaffected by this process. The researchers then introduce endothelial cells to vascularize the tissue.
The researchers have shown that it’s possible to create a tissue construct measuring several centimeters, which is a clinically useful size. Examples of their work include a valve similar to a heart valve, a meniscus and a complex-shaped part of the femur. They were also able to build interlocking structures.
“Unlike conventional bioprinting – a slow, layer-by-layer process – our technique is fast and offers greater design freedom without jeopardizing the cells’ viability,” says Damien Loterie, an LAPD researcher and one of the study’s coauthors.
Replicating the human body
The researchers’ work is a real game changer. “The characteristics of human tissue depend to a large extent on a highly sophisticated extracellular structure, and the ability to replicate this complexity could lead to a number of real clinical applications,” says Paul Delrot, another coauthor. Using this technique, labs could mass-produce artificial tissues or organs at unprecedented speed. This sort of replicability is essential when it comes to testing new drugs in vitro, and it could help obviate the need for animal testing – a clear ethical advantage as well as a way of reducing costs.
“This is just the beginning. We believe that our method is inherently scalable towards mass fabrication and could be used to produce a wide range of cellular tissue models, not to mention medical devices and personalized implants,” says Christophe Moser, the head of the LAPD.
The researchers plan to market their groundbreaking technique through a spin-off.
The Latest on: Bioprinting complex living tissue
via Google News
The Latest on: Bioprinting complex living tissue
- WINTON GROUP Ltd Trims Stock Holdings in Organovo Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONVO)on November 19, 2020 at 1:48 am
WINTON GROUP Ltd decreased its holdings in Organovo Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONVO) by 94.4% in the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 13,315 shares of the medical research company ...
- The Next Wave of Manufacturing: Human Organson November 16, 2020 at 3:59 pm
Organovo's NovoGen bioprinting platform generates the multicellular building blocks used to build organ tissue. So how did scientists discover they could manufacture living tissue ... allows us to ...
- New Process can 3D Print Living Cells with Precision and Speedon November 16, 2020 at 3:59 pm
3D bioprinting has come a long way in recent years, with scientists using living tissue to print organs as complex as human skin. Researchers in Austria have unveiled an advancement with a process ...
- 'Big Arse Toilet' Concept Turns Waste to Electricity, Combats Open Defecationon November 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Bioprinting Technique Makes It Easier to Study Human Tissues and Organs Additive Manufacturing Is Breaking Through—Sort of One-Step Printing Process Results In New Complex Objects ... gardening with ...
- Baby spiders really are watching youon November 11, 2020 at 4:00 pm
The study, published in the journal Vision Research, helps explain how animals the size of a bread crumb fit all the complex architecture ... stem cells, 3D bioprinting and organs-on-chips — to create ...
- The tech helping us live longeron November 11, 2020 at 5:07 am
Bioprinting – 3D printing with human cells instead of plastic – could offer a solution to the problem of a shortage of donor organs. Once a small piece of tissue has been extracted from the ...
- 3D printing is making a giant leap into health. That could change everythingon September 28, 2020 at 8:33 am
"Bioprinting has ... for that matter. Flat tissues, like skin, and hollow ones, like the stomach or bladder, are relatively easy to print, whereas complex solid organs -- the heart, liver, or ...
- Advanced manufacturingon August 18, 2020 at 8:29 pm
Yifei Jin | Dr. Jin's primary research interests involve 3D bioprinting of living tissue constructs ... develop theoretical and computational approaches to model and simulate complex thermal and ...
- Pressing aheadon July 15, 2020 at 8:11 am
3D bioprinting is pushing the boundaries of tissue engineering ... natural environment experienced by cells in the living organism. In the cancer example, researchers create CAD designs that map the ...
- What is a Medical Physicist?on December 8, 2019 at 2:23 pm
These complex machines provide medical ... Nowadays 3D printing is also being used to print human tissue and organs in a process called bioprinting. • In Malta there are currently 19 clinical ...
via Bing News