Posts Tagged ‘ASIA’

Progress towards 3D Bioprinting of blood supply: steps towards production of functional blood vessels presage production of  other viable body part replacements

Curator and Writer: Justin Pearlman MD PhD

3D printing of human tissue requires a blood supply to support tissues that are more than a few millimeters thick. In recognition of the importance of achieving bioprinting with functioning vasculature, a Chinese company has committed to building a BioPrinter and BioInk (cell precursors and support) focused on vasculogenesis suitable for human implants. Meanwhile, researchers in the United States and in Australia have succeeded in printing vascular trees, for example, a branching vascular-like structure that supported blood circulation when grafted to a rat. The vascular pathways are printed within surrounding structures as a dissolvable substance (e.g., sugar) subesquently removed. Remaining steps include establishing adequacy of tissue perfusion and sustainable viability of the vessel integrity and function as well as survival of the surrounding tissue. Adult humans maintain abilities to remodel blood vessels (vasculogenesis, arteriogenesis, angiogenesis) so it may suffice to provide printed blood conduits and precursor cells and/or stimulants as a bridge and scaffold to vasculature development plus tissue perfusion in vivo, if they can meet the milestones of adequacy of biosafety, support of blood circulation, tissue perfusion, sustainability, as well as adaptation with promotion of growth and remodelling as needed.



Researchers successfully 3D print blood vessels, a ‘game changer’ for artificial organs

Mopic / Shutterstock

Above: An illustration of the inside of a blood vessel.

Image Credit: Mopic / Shutterstock

Hundreds of thousands of people die annually because the demand for organs far exceeds the donor supply. Artificial organs could save those lives — and scientists just made a huge breakthrough in the field by “bio-printing” artificial vascular networks.

Researchers from the University of Sydney, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford have successfully bio-printed blood vessels, offering 3D-printed organs access to nutrients, oxygen, and waste-disposal routes, according to a study published Monday.

“While recreating little parts of tissues in the lab is something that we have already been able to do, the possibility of printing three-dimensional tissues with functional blood capillaries in the blink of an eye is a game changer,” said Dr. Luiz Bertassoni, the study’s lead author and a University of Sydney researcher.

The vascular network of the human liver.

To 3D print vascular networks, the researchers fabricated fine, interconnected fibers with an advanced bioprinter. Then they coated those fibers with human endothelial cells — these sit between circulating blood and vessel walls in the interior of blood vessels — and subsequently applied a protein-based material. They hardened the whole structure with light, then delicately removed the fibers, leaving behind a complex network of hollow cell material. After a week, those cells organized themselves into stable capillaries.

Cells inside the bioprinted vascular networks survived, differentiated, and proliferated at better rates than cells that received no nutrient supply.

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