Bioprinting is an emerging technology for the fabrication of patient-specific, anatomically-complex cartilage organs. Bioinks based on regulatory-compliant polysaccharides are being developed which undergoes cell friendly gelation and yield a strong, ductile material. To make bioinks more tissue-specific and bioactive, micronized extracellular matrix particles can be added. As examples, 3D auricular, nasal, meniscal and vertebral disc grafts based on computer tomography (CT) data or generic 3D models are shown. The bioink supports proliferation and deposition of matrix proteins. This versatile bioprinting method can produce patient-specific cartilage grafts with good mechanical and biological properties.
About Marcy Zenobi-Wong
Marcy Zenobi-Wong (born in 1963) leads a Fifa-sponsored research team on Cartilage Engineering + Regeneration at ETH Zürich. She uses advanced manufacturing methods including bioprinting to produce patient-specific living grafts for use in orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery. Her research team has founded the company CellSpring which develops 3D microtissues for drug screening.
About ETH Zürich
ETHZ is one of the leading technical universities in the world with a student population of 18’000, including 3’900 doctoral students. Health is one of nine main research foci of ETHZ. Its commitment to this area is demonstrated by the foundation in 2012 of the new Department of Health Sciences & Technology (D-HEST). D-HEST runs educational tracks in medical technology, neuroscience, food and nutrition and movement science and has at its goals to solve health problems by working at the interface of engineering, biology and medicine and to educate the workforce in these interdisciplinary areas.