Core-shell printing of Alginate-CMC scaffolds for engineering of tubular tissues – Presented by Marko Milojevic, University of Maribor

Core-shell printing of Alginate-CMC scaffolds for engineering of tubular tissues – Presented by Marko Milojevic, Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor, at the 3D Medical Conference, which takes place on January 30-31, 2019, at MECC Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Vascularization is still a major challenge preventing the tissue engineering of thick tissues and many strategies are being explored for in vitro manufacturing of channel networks with appropriate form, perfusion volume, chemistry and mechanics.

Core-shell three dimensional (3D) printing allows direct fabrication of channel structures with a liquid core and a stable shell, which is cross-linked at the interface.

Developing custom bioinks that will adequately mimic the native extracellular matrix (ECM) and provide a stable environment for the tissue in development is crucial for advanced tissue engineering. In turn, precise fabrication of defined structures requires well-tailored fabrication strategies, optimized for the material in use.

With this in mind, we co-developed a new alginate-carboxymethyl cellulose ink and an easy-to-manufacture core-shell nozzle with luer-compatibility to explore core-shell printing for woodpile structures, as well as compatibility with “freeform reversible embedding of suspended hydrogels” (FRESH) 3D printing.

What drives you?
Childish curiosity, the satisfaction after solving a complex problem, and the people I’m surrounded with.

What are the three things you would take with you on a deserted island?
A satellite cell phone, a fishing net, and a supply of drinking water. As you can see, the plan is to get off the island ASAP, however with a supply of water and food just in case the rescue mission might take longer than expected.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
In relation to my research interests I would have to say tissue and organ “printing” on demand. On a global scale there are just to many to list. To name a few: development of novel renewable/clean energy sources, gene editing techniques, artificial intelligence, and many more.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
If we focus on emerging technologies in the field of tissue engineering, they will lead to improved personalized medicine, in the long run more affordable and accessible healthcare and the development of “lab-grown foods” with lower environmental impact.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Technological, financial and legislative limitations. Sceptics.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
We present an easy-to-manufacture core-shell nozzle and an alginate-CMC ink, which allows for fabrication of channel structures. Such cost-effective approaches will hold the key for successful fabrication of complex, thick biomimetic tissues while simultaneously being accessible to a wider community.

“Special Quote”
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

About Marko Milojević
Marko holds a master’s degree in biomedicine and is currently working as a young researcher and a PhD student at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor. As part of his PhD research, he is developing a functional 3D in vitro disease model of pancreatic islets, which would be greatly beneficial for fundamental research of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. While doing his research he gained knowledge and experience in tissue engineering approaches and 3D printing.

About Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor
The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Maribor (MFUM) is an educational and research institution at which we educate students to acquire knowledge and skills needed for prevention of diseases, maintenance and recovery of health; an institution where we, within institutes, implement research work and where we are, besides this, concerned with integrated and sustainable development of an individual and social responsibility.

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