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?”

Researchers are 3D printing replica human vertebrae to help in surgery room (Video)

replica human vertebrae

Researchers are 3D printing replica human vertebrae to help in surgery room

A project led by Nottingham Trent University aims to give trainee surgeons the “tacit knowledge” of how it feels to partly remove or drill into vertebrae before undertaking procedures on patients.

The models – which are created using powder printing technology to help achieve a lifelike porosity of real bone – feature hard outer layers and a softer centre.

“Consultants undertaking delicate and precise procedures like spinal surgery need as much knowledge and experience as possible as part of their surgical training before going into live operations,” said Professor Philip Breedon, of the university’s Design for Health and Wellbeing Group.

“One error can lead to catastrophic, life-changing consequences for a patient, so it’s imperative that surgeons can prepare themselves thoroughly. Continue reading “Researchers are 3D printing replica human vertebrae to help in surgery room (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”

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”

Brave new world of 3D printed organs now includes implanted ovary structures (Video)

3D printed organs

The brave new world of 3D printed organs now includes implanted ovary structures that, true to their design, actually ovulate, according to a study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering.

By removing a female mouse’s ovary and replacing it with a bioprosthetic ovary, the mouse was able to not only ovulate but also give birth to healthy pups. The moms were even able to nurse their young.

The bioprosthetic ovaries are constructed of 3-D printed scaffolds that house immature eggs, and have been successful in boosting hormone production and restoring fertility in mice, which was the ultimate goal of the research. Continue reading “Brave new world of 3D printed organs now includes implanted ovary structures (Video)”

Bioprinting: Ushering in a new era of medicine

A year and a half ago, Dr. Albert Chi, a surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and an expert in prosthetic devices, was talking to a group of parents whose children suffered from congenital limb loss. He told them that prices don’t make it feasible to fit children with advanced prosthetic devices — kids will outgrow them in months, and more money will have to be spent upsizing a prosthetic hand or limb. That’s when one parent challenged Chi: Hadn’t he heard of 3-D printing? Continue reading “Bioprinting: Ushering in a new era of medicine”

3D Bioprinting Space – Understanding the Fundamentals

For medicine, bioprinting is a necessity and an inevitability. The demand for organs will undoubtedly continue to climb with the global median age. Yet what hurdles lie in the way of creating a renewable supply? One major engineering obstacle is properly seeding and feeding the culture in order to create a functional organ. This is because complex tissues are composed of many different types of cells precisely arranged in 3 dimensions. Continue reading “3D Bioprinting Space – Understanding the Fundamentals”