26 November 2012

Hybrid bioprinter will improve the quality of artificial cartilage

The new bioprinter is developed on the basis of a combination of two low-cost technologies: traditional inkjet printing and electroforming (electrospinning). The simultaneous use of these two systems allowed scientists to create combined structures from natural and artificial materials. Synthetic components give the structure strength, while natural gel materials provide a microenvironment that promotes cell growth.

Hybrid designs created with the help of a new three-dimensional bioprinter are characterized by higher mechanical stability compared to designs obtained by inkjet printing from gel-like material. This strength is provided by the use of an electroforming device that uses an electric current to create the finest fibers from a polymer solution. The resulting porous structures promote the integration of cells into the surrounding tissue.

When using experimental technology, flexible polymer layers obtained by electroforming were combined layer by layer with a suspension of cartilage cells isolated from a rabbit ear. The cell suspension was applied to the polymer layers using the traditional inkjet printing method. The resulting structures had the shape of squares with a diagonal of 10 centimeters, and their thickness was 0.4 millimeters.

The mechanical strength of the resulting structures was tested by loading with different weights. A week later, testing demonstrated the viability of the cartilage cells included in their composition.

To study the behavior of the formed structures in a living organism, they were implanted in mice. 8 weeks after implantation, cartilage structures formed structures and acquired properties characteristic of elastic cartilage, which indicates the prospects of their use in clinical practice.

The developers believe that such cartilage fragments can be implanted under the control of magnetic resonance imaging, for example, in the knee joint as a framework for the formation of structures that replace damaged areas of tissue. Individual selection of the material of such a frame for each patient will ensure the ability of implants to withstand mechanical loads while stimulating the formation of new cartilage tissue and filling in defects.

Article by Tao Xu et al. Hybrid printing of mechanically and biologically improved constructs for cartridge tissue engineering applications is published in the journal Biofabrication.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of the Institute of Physics:
Cartilage made easy with novel hybrid printer.


Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version