|Image of the 3-D droplet bioprinter, developed by the Bayley Research Group at Oxford, producing mm-sized tissues|
Credit: Sam Olof/ Alexander Graham
Topics: 3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing, Biology
Scientists at the University of Oxford have developed a new method to 3D-print laboratory- grown cells to form living structures.
The approach could revolutionize regenerative medicine, enabling the production of complex tissues and cartilage that would potentially support, repair or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body.
In research published in the journal Scientific Reports, an interdisciplinary team from the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at Oxford and the Centre for Molecular Medicine at Bristol, demonstrated how a range of human and animal cells can be printed into high-resolution tissue constructs.
|A confocal micrograph of an artificial tissue containing 2 populations human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293T) printed in the form of an arborized structure within a cube|
Credit: Sam Olof / Alexander Graham
Interest in 3D printing living tissues has grown in recent years, but, developing an effective way to use the technology has been difficult, particularly since accurately controlling the position of cells in 3D is hard to do. They often move within printed structures and the soft scaffolding printed to support the cells can collapse on itself. As a result, it remains a challenge to print high-resolution living tissues.
A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues, Alexander D. Graham et al. High-Resolution Patterned Cellular Constructs by Droplet-Based 3D Printing, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-06358-x, Phys.org