Bio-inks and 3D BioPrinting
Curator: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.
Bio-ink is a material made from living cells that behaves much like a liquid, allowing people to “print” it in order to create a desired shape. This material was developed by researchers at the University of Missouri, Columbia, with the goal of someday being able to do things like print replacements for failing organs. This technology is only in the very early stages of testing and development, but it shows promise.
To make bio-ink, scientists create a slurry of cells that can be loaded into a cartridge and inserted into a specially designed printer, along with another cartridge containing a gel known as bio-paper. After inputting the standards for the thing they want to print, the researchers trigger the printer, and the cartridges alternate layers to build a three dimensional structure, with the bio-paper creating a supportive matrix that the ink can thrive on.
Through a process that is not yet totally understood, the individual droplets fuse together, eventually latticing upwards through the bio-paper to create a solid structure. Understanding this process and the point at which cells differentiate to accomplish different tasks is an important part of creating a usable material; perhaps someday hospitals will be able to use it to generate tissue and organs for use by their patients.
The most obvious potential use for bio-ink is in skin grafting. With this technology, labs could quickly create sheets of skin for burn victims and other people who might be in need of grafts. By creating grafts derived from the patient’s own cells, it could reduce the risk of rejection and scarring. Bio-ink could also be used to make replacements for vascular material removed during surgeries, allowing people to receive new veins and arteries.
Eventually, entire organs could be constructed from this material. Since organs are in short supply around the world, bio-ink could potentially save untold numbers of lives, as patients would no longer have to wait on the transplant list for new organs. The use of such organs could also allay fears about contaminated organ supplies or unscrupulous organ acquisition methods.
Universal Matrix for 3D Tissue Printing
BioInkTM is a chemically-defined hydrogel to support growth of different cell types. It allows cell adhesion, mimics the natural extracellular matrix and is biodegradable.
BioInkTM is provided as a ready-to-use chemically-defined hydrogel to print 3D tissue models. Exclusively designed for regenHU’s BioFactory® and 3DDiscovery® tissue and bio-printers.
A versatile, chemically-defined hydrogel, supporting cell attachment, growth, differentiation and migration. The BioInkTM is suitable for long-term tissue cultivation (in vitro human dermis for up to 7 weeks).
A versatile bioink for three-dimensional printing of cellular scaffolds based on thermally and photo-triggered tandem gelation
- Matti Kestia, 1,
- Michael Müllera, 1,
- Jana Becherb,
- Matthias Schnabelrauchb,
- Matteo D’Estec,
- David Eglinc,
- Marcy Zenobi-Wonga, ,
- a Cartilage Engineering + Regeneration Laboratory, ETH Zürich, Otto-Stern-Weg 7, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
- b Biomaterials Department, INNOVENT e.V. Jena, Prüssingstrasse 27 B, 07745 Jena, Germany
- c AO Research Institute Davos, Clavadelerstrasse 8, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland
Layer-by-layer bioprinting is a logical choice for the fabrication of stratified tissues like articular cartilage. Printing of viable organ replacements, however, is dependent on bioinks with appropriate rheological and cytocompatible properties. In cartilage engineering, photocrosslinkable glycosaminoglycan-based hydrogels are chondrogenic, but alone have generally poor printing properties. By blending the thermoresponsive polymer poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) grafted hyaluronan (HA-pNIPAAM) with methacrylated hyaluronan (HAMA), high-resolution scaffolds with good viability were printed. HA-pNIPAAM provided fast gelation and immediate post-printing structural fidelity, while HAMA ensured long-term mechanical stability upon photocrosslinking. The bioink was evaluated for rheological properties, swelling behavior, printability and biocompatibility of encapsulated bovine chondrocytes. Elution of HA-pNIPAAM from the scaffold was necessary to obtain good viability. HA-pNIPAAM can therefore be used to support extrusion of a range of biopolymers which undergo tandem gelation, thereby facilitating the printing of cell-laden, stratified cartilage constructs with zonally varying composition and stiffness.
For more information see:
And for more information on biopaper and methodology please see this pdf file courtesy of The First Symposium on BioPrinting in Tissue Engineering (see file) biopaper presentation