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3D Printing of tissue with blood vessels: key breakthrough that will lead to creating full size artificial organs

RATE THIS! +30
Posted in Science on 8th Mar, 2014 01:32 AM by AlexMuller

Using a custom-built four-head 3D printer and a “disappearing” ink, materials scientists created a patch of tissue containing skin cells and biological structural material interwoven with blood-vessel-like structures.

 
All prior regenerative tissue projects have run up against the same wall when trying to build thicker and more complex tissues: a lack of blood vessels. Lewis’s group solved the problem by creating hollow, tube-like structures within a mesh of printed cells using an “ink” that liquefies as it cools. The tissue is built by the 3-D printer in layers.
 
A gelatin-based ink acts as extracellular matrix, the structural mix of proteins and other biological molecules that surrounds cells in the body. Two other inks contained the gelatin material and either mouse or human skin cells. All these inks are viscous enough to maintain their structure after being laid down by the printer.
 
A third ink with counterintuitive behavior helped the team create the hollow tubes. This ink has a Jell-O-like consistency at room temperature, but when cooled it liquefies. The team printed tracks of this ink amongst the others. After chilling the patch of printed tissue, the researchers applied a light vacuum to remove the special ink, leaving behind empty channels within the structure. Then cells that normally line blood vessels in the body can be infused into the channels.
 
 

Tags: 3D printingmedicinebioprintingstem cellsorganshealth

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+2
Good progress in bio printing - this is very interesting and helpful step and will speed up attempts to build more complex structures with the blood vessels
4 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+3
Yes, very interesting. All organs need blood vessels to obtain nutrients and discard waste. This 3-D printing method will allow the overall architecture of blood vessels to form within artificial tissue and then, the hope is that smaller blood vessels will develop along with the rest of the tissue. This has yet to be shown Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+0
Yes, bio ink is the first step to develop the protocols required to generate the multi-cellular building blocks from the cells that will be used to build the target tissue. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+3
This is quite complex set up. They have to create heterogeneous structures by precisely co-printing multiple materials- bioinks for different cellular and extra-cellular structures- in three dimensions. Good progress
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+0
The principle of 3D printing has been around for more than a decade, and is already used successfully to create jewellery, toys, furniture or cars- it is now time for bioprinters! Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+2
Bioprinting is coming fast! Just recently Bioengineer announced that the heart is one of the easiest organs to bioprint and they we'll do it in a decade!
4 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+0
Yes, it is possible to repair or replace heart valves and to replace a damaged heart with a healthy heart from a donor Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+1
Depending on organ donors is a difficult situation for many patients. I hope that 3D bio printing offers an alternative to dependence upon donation Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+1
When you want to engineer an organ you have a zillion conditions and requirements to fulfil-a very complex situation
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+1
Nevertheless, this is an idea that should be supported- bioprinting efforts are ongoing, funding is coming and there are already companies established based on this idea. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+0
Yes, there is funding. Critical illnesses can already be successfully treated today by replacing cells, tissue or organs. Government, industry and the research establishment have therefore been working hard to improve methods and procedures for artificially producing tissue. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-08
+0
Organovo is very prominent in this area. Organovo’s bioprinting process centers around the identification of key elements of a target tissue, and the creation of a design that can be utilized by a bioprinter Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-03-09
+0
Good progress in bio printing - this is very interesting and helpful step and will speed up attempts to build more complex structures with the blood vessels Reply


 

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