Researchers create 3D printed stem cell-infused scaffolds for spinal cord repair

3D printed stem cell

Researchers create 3D printed stem cell-infused scaffolds for spinal cord repair

University of Minnesota researchers have broken new ground in the rapidly advancing field of 3-D printing: creating stem cell-infused scaffolds that could be implanted in spinal cords to repair nerve damage.

The technology has existed for years to print plastic implants containing live cells. But the challenge was to do so in a way that would allow sensitive “neuronal” stem cells to survive the printing process so they can repair nerve damage after transplant. Continue reading “Researchers create 3D printed stem cell-infused scaffolds for spinal cord repair”

Is developing 3D bioink for all cell types & all printing techniques achievable?

3D bioink

Is developing 3D bioink for all cell types & all printing techniques achievable?

The concept of developing a bioink that can be used for all cell types and all printing techniques is at best unrealistic and at worst impossible.  What is much more achievable and also more desirable is a modifiable, modular system. A base material in which mechanical properties can be easily adapted for the chosen additive method and then formulated for each specific cell type or multiple cell types involved in the end application. Continue reading “Is developing 3D bioink for all cell types & all printing techniques achievable?”

3D printing and programming genetically engineered bacteria

genetically engineered bacteria

Wearable tech is the name given to smart electronic devices that can be worn or implanted in the body. An enticing opportunity for innovative tech developers in sports, health, fashion and entertainment, 3D printing is revealing new possibilities for wearable tech such as electronic second skins, and smart fabrics.

In the latest research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a team has developed a “living” 3D printer bio-ink that’s not only smart but could change the way we think about technology altogether. Harnessing natural reactions of bacteria, responsive devices made using this smart ink represent the basic build blocks of electricity-free wearable tech.

Made by members of the same team that made the soft-robotic, fish-catching glove, this 3D printable bio-ink adds to an extensive portfolio of smart materials in development at MIT. Continue reading “3D printing and programming genetically engineered bacteria”

New 4D Printing technique developed by TU Delft researchers has potential to improve bone implants (video)

4D Printing technique

New 4D Printing technique developed by TU Delft researchers has potential to improve bone implants

Researchers at TU Delft have combined origami techniques and 3D printing to create flat structures that can fold themselves into 3D structures (for example a tulip). The structures self-fold according to a pre-planned sequence, with some parts folding sooner than others. Usually, expensive printers and special materials are needed for that. But the TU Delft scientists have created a new technique that requires only a common 3D printer and ubiquitous material. Among other applications, their research has the potential to greatly improve bone implants.

In recent years, Amir Zadpoor of TU Delft has become somewhat of an origami master. His team’s work combines the traditional Japanese paper folding art with the more novel technology of 3D printing in order to create constructs that can self-roll, self-twist, self-wrinkle and self-fold into a variety of 3D structures. In 2016, the researchers already demonstrated several self-folding objects. ‘But there were still serious challenges we needed to address’, says Zadpoor. Continue reading “New 4D Printing technique developed by TU Delft researchers has potential to improve bone implants (video)”

ETH researchers develop silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart (Video)

silicone heart

ETH researchers from the Functional Materials Laboratory have developed a silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart. In collaboration with colleagues from the Product Development Group Zurich, they have tested how well it works.

It looks like a real heart. And this is the goal of the first entirely soft artificial heart: to mimic its natural model as closely as possible. The silicone heart has been developed by Nicholas Cohrs, a doctoral student in the group led by Wendelin Stark, Professor of Functional Materials Engineering at ETH Zurich. The reasoning why nature should be used as a model is clear. Currently used blood pumps have many disadvantages: their mechanical parts are susceptible to complications while the patient lacks a physiological pulse, which is assumed to have some consequences for the patient. Continue reading “ETH researchers develop silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart (Video)”

VTT Finland is developing 3D technology for wound care

3D technology

VTT Finland is developing 3D technology for wound care

Cellulose nanofibrils have properties that can improve the characteristics of bio-based 3D-printing pastes. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing a 3D wound care product for monitoring wound condition in hospital care. However, the first commercial nanocellulose applications will be seen in indoor decoration elements, textiles and the production of mock-ups.

3D printing has proven to be an efficient manufacturing method for complex, customised and light structures. In addition to thermoplastics, 3D printing materials include metals, ceramics and foodstuffs. The range of biomaterials in 3D paste printing is still fairly limited, since pastes pose unique challenges: their structure must not collapse during printing and the objects manufactured must remain sufficiently strong, rigid or flexible after drying. In 3D biomaterial filaments, however, commercial products already exist. Continue reading “VTT Finland is developing 3D technology for wound care”

US researchers develop technology that can 3D print drugs on wide variety of surfaces (Video)

3D print drugs

US researchers develop technology that can 3D print drugs on wide variety of surfaces

A technology that can print pure, ultra-precise doses of drugs onto a wide variety of surfaces could one day enable on-site printing of custom-dosed medications at pharmacies, hospitals and other locations. Because the technique can print multiple medications into a single dose on a dissolvable strip, microneedle patch or other dosing device, it could make life easier for patients who today must take multiple medications every day. The work could also have important implications for the drug development process.

A team of University of Michigan researchers, in a study lead by materials science and engineering professor Max Shtein and U-M graduate researcher Olga Shalev, Continue reading “US researchers develop technology that can 3D print drugs on wide variety of surfaces (Video)”

3D printing is quickly reshaping the medical device landscape

medical device landscape

3D printing is quickly reshaping the medical device landscape

As news of the latest advancement in experimental 3D printing of tissue and organ regeneration gains attention, it would be easy to believe that 3D printing in the medical field only happens in the lab. However, new equipment and devices are being 3D printed now and in real world settings.

After years of feasibility studies, 3D printing for medical equipment and prostheses is becoming reality.

Reports have continually shown that 3D printed devices are both practical and less expensive than traditional options. For example, a University of South Florida study related to prosthesis molds found that “Owing to the similarity of the 3D printed materials and the traditional materials, the 3D printed molds are easily integrated into current processing procedures.” And a UK study observed that 3D printed sensors added onto a prosthesis could help medical professionals increase comfort levels for the prosthesis wearer. In addition to better comfort, these sensors improved overall patient care. Continue reading “3D printing is quickly reshaping the medical device landscape”

New method to 3D Print laboratory-grown cells to form living structures, developed by Oxford researchers

3D Print laboratory-grown cells

New method to 3D Print laboratory-grown cells to form living structures, developed by Oxford researchers

The approach could revolutionise regenerative medicine, enabling the production of complex tissues and cartilage that would potentially support, repair or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body.

Printing high-resolution living tissues is hard to do, as the cells often move within printed structures and can collapse on themselves. But, led by Professor Hagan Bayley, Professor of Chemical Biology in Oxford’s Department of Chemistry, the team devised a way to produce tissues in self-contained cells that support the structures to keep their shape.

The cells were contained within protective nanolitre droplets wrapped in a lipid coating that could be assembled, layer-by-layer, into living structures. Producing printed tissues in this way improves the survival rate of the individual cells, and allowed the team to improve on current techniques by building each tissue one drop at a time to a more favourable resolution. Continue reading “New method to 3D Print laboratory-grown cells to form living structures, developed by Oxford researchers”

Brasil researchers to test 3D bioprinting in agriculture

agriculture

Brasil researchers to test 3D bioprinting in agriculture

Imitating nature in laboratories and manufacturing leaves, seeds, and even more complex structures of plants, animals or microorganisms could soon become a reality at Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology’s Laboratory of Nanobiotechnology (LNANO), in Brasília, DF, Brazil. The recent approval of a project, as well as other related activities, will enable researchers to test biological activities in three-dimensional environments, that is, closer to reality.

The project leader, the Embrapa researcher Luciano Paolino da Silva explains that the  technique used is called 3D bioprinting, a variant of 3D printing, a method to manufacture solid objects from a digital file containing spatial information and dimensional coordinates. The team intends to use the 3D bioprinting technology to create valid models and to test nanomaterials produced from biomolecules obtained from agricultural and forestry industry waste.  Continue reading “Brasil researchers to test 3D bioprinting in agriculture”