Miniature Valves Play Significant Role in Viability of 3D Bio-Printing of Human Cells

The rapid development of viable inkjet technology for highly specialised applications, such as printing human cells, continues to generate significant interest. If successful, the realisation of this technology for specialised biological applications, generally known as ‘biofabrication’, has the potential to replace the long established (and often controversial) process of using animals for testing new drugs. However, there are many challenges to overcome to enable the successful production of a valve-based cell printer for the formation of human embryonic stem cell spheroid aggregates. For example, printing techniques need to be developed which are both controllable and less harmful to the process of preserving human cell tissue viability and functions.

One particular cell printing project at an advanced stage and which has benefitted from the features and benefits of Lee Products miniature VHS solenoid valves and nozzles, is the result of pioneering activities at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. Dr Will Shu at the University’s Biomedical micro-engineering Group and his colleagues, including Alan Faulkner-Jones a bioengineering PhD student have successfully developed a bio-printer which has been demonstrated at the 3D Print show in London. Also involved in the development of the bio-printer are specialists at Roslin Cellab in Midlothian, a leading stem cell technology company.Read more

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