Engineering Ourselves – The Future Potential Power of 3D-Bioprinting?

Researchers at Swansea University are exploring the use of a novel 3D-bioprinting technology to make living tissue structures. This research is being focused not towards fuelling the excitement of organogenesis, but instead towards producing heterogeneous biological support tissues for use in reconstructive surgery. 

Currently this is focusing on producing tracheal tissues, which if successful may be an initial step towards producing tissues for abdominal and breast reconstruction, following cancer.

The research concentrates on using the natural self-organising properties of cells in order to produce a functional tissue which have measurable mechanical, metabolic and functional properties. Through utilising stem-cell differentiation this can lead to the fabrication of vascularised and innervated tissues. This 3D-bioprinting technique works by depositing a biologically active gel containing twenty million chondrocyte cells per millilitre, together with alginate, hyaluronic acid, transforming growth factor β1, antibiotics and gelatine. This biologically-centred method of bioprinting has been developed to allow for a wider level of experimentation at a both a University and clinical level, by building upon classic 3D tissue culture methods. It is hoped that this approach could see a greater adoption of this technology and further innovation in the short-term by enabling researches in the field to effectively produce experimental tissues, initially starting with cartilage. … (Read more)

Source: Engineering.com

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