Bioprinting of tissues and organs – Presented by Carlos Mota, Maastricht University, at the 3D Medical Conference, which takes place on January 30-31, 2019, at MECC Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Bioprinting technologies are a group of computer-driven systems used to manufacture three-dimensional (3D) tissue and organ-like constructs. These 3D structures are normally manufactured with bioinks where the combination of specific cells and biomaterials is tuned according to the aimed tissue or organ.
At the MERLN institute, we are using different bioprinting techniques, namely extrusion, droplet-on-demand and microfluidics to develop tissue implants and organ models. Some examples of the tissue implants already developed are constructs for long bone defects and cardiac patch. For the long bone implant, novel alginate-based bioinks have been developed and combined with human periosteum-derived cells.
Bioprinted constructs were designed to mimic the callus formation normally observed after bone fracture. Cardiac patch implants have been developed by investigating the combination of collagen with cardiac muscle cell line. Furthermore, organ functional units are also being developed with a strong focus on nephron in vitro model.
For this bioprinting has allowed to manufacture renal-like structure by combining primary renal cells and renal progenitor cells with different hydrogels.
What drives you?
What are the three things you would take with you on a deserted island?
A satellite phone, the family and a Swiss-knife.
What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Bioprinting in creating an impact in the way we develop tissue and organ in vitro. These models will ultimately contribute to the development of new therapies for tissue and organ shortage.
What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
The selection of the bioprinting technology, the biomaterials and cells is crucial for the development of relevant constructs. The first barrier associated to the field is the selection and availability of appropriate cells to build these constructs. A second barrier is normally associated with the biomaterials used.
Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
I will be presenting novel bioprinting technologies, biomaterials and tissues and organs models currently under development at MERLN.
Organ bioprinting, a long road ahead.
About Carlos Mota
Carlos Mota is an assistant professor in the Department of Complex Tissue Regeneration at MERLN Institute for Technology-inspired Regenerative Medicine, Maastricht University.
Carlos received his PhD in Biomaterials from the BIOS research doctorate school in Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Pisa, in March 2012. His doctoral studies were focused on the development of new approaches for the fabrication of polymeric scaffolds for Tissue Engineering applications.
Furthermore, he was a researcher at the department of Neurosciences, University of Pisa, where he developed scaffolds for otology surgery applications. Currently, his main research interests are focused on biofabrication, bioprinting and additive manufacturing techniques for the development of tissue engineered constructs.
About Maastricht University
The Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (MERLN) strives to maintain a leading position in the field of biomedical engineering by combining creative research with training an interdisciplinary generation of scientists. MERLN’s activities operate at the interface of biology and engineering and aim to maximise outreach at the level of public involvement, development, and the commercialisation of research. MERLN’s vision is based on sharing knowledge, infrastructure, and ambition.