Researchers Use DNA as ‘Smart Glue’ to Provide Structure for 3D Bio-Printing

The abilities of 3D printing to create bio-materials is on the cutting edge of science, but has been somewhat limited to date by technicalities like massive expenses and the fact that 3D printing using microscale materials would lead to microscale products.

These factors have so far severely limited the potential for applications including 3D printing living tissues and organs.

A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin‘s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, consisting of Peter B. Allen, Zin Khaing, Christine E. Schmidt, and Andrew D. Ellington, have published a new paper in the American Chemical Society‘s ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering journal. The paper, “3D Printing with Nucleic Acid Adhesives,” explores the novel idea that DNA could be used, not just as a concept in 3D bio-printing, but as an actual adhesive to glue together the materials used in additive manufacture of lab-grown tissues and organs. The DNA-as-glue theory would provide a new, significantly less expensive, process to create viable bio-materials.

Existing methods of 3D printing with nano materials have some major drawbacks, including prohibitively large costs and problematically small prints. Nano-sized bio-prints aren’t much good once techniques start to progress beyond the theoretical. Now that researchers know that the process is possible, they can begin adapting it to actual usage. Applications that stand to benefit from developments in this arena include injury repair, such as of torn tissues, and, on the bigger scale, 3D printing entire organs for those on transplant wait lists. … (read more)

Source: 3DPrint.com