New ink formulated to print living human tissue

November 16, 2012
The image shows muscle (green) and nerve (red) cells suspended in the bio-ink and inkjet printed on to a collagen hydrogel bio-paper.

(Phys.org)—Scientists are one step closer to being able to print tissue replacements for diseased or damaged body parts using inkjet printers, thanks to the development of a specialised ink formulation.

Researchers have been aware for some time of the potential for using commercially available heads to print living into , but design of the actual ink capable of carrying cells through the printer has been a challenge.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at UOW has led a team of scientists including Cameron Ferris, Dr Kerry Gilmore, Dr Stephen Beirne, Dr Donald McCallum, Professor Gordon Wallace and Associate Professor Marc in het Panhuis to develop a new bio-ink that improves the viability of living cells and allows better control of cell positioning through the .

"To date, none of the available inks has been optimised in terms of both printability and cell suspending ability," according to ACES Associate Researcher Cameron Ferris.

This image is the same as above just rendered into an artistic representation with a cell-containing printed droplet in the foreground.

"Our new bio-ink is printable and cell-friendly, preventing cell settling and allowing controlled deposition of cells."

The 2D structures being printed with the bio-ink enables exquisite control over cell distribution and this already presents exciting opportunities to improve and toxicology testing processes. Building on this, 3D bio-printing, with which patient-specific tissue replacements could be fabricated, is within the grasp of researchers.

"The development of chemistries that enable fabrication protocols not only takes us closer to practical devices but gives us experimental protocols that allows previously unexplored areas of to be explored," ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace said.

Results of the research have been published in Biomaterials Science and highlighted in Chemistry.

The announcement of this breakthrough could not be more timely in light of this weekend's Stumping Serious Diseases 20-20 cricket double header.

The University of Wollongong is committed to improving the health of all people in the Illawarra and beyond through extensive research into the causes and treatment of serious diseases.

Funds raised by Stumping Serious Diseases 2012 will assist vital health and medical research at UOW, in particular local children's health.

"These advances in biofabrication provide a platform to address diseases previously thought 'unstumpable'—soon we can watch them walk the walk," Professor Wallace said.

Explore further: Cellulose nanocrystal research could lead to new vaccines, computer inks

More information: pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2013/bm/c2bm00114d
www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2012/10/bio-ink-print-living-cells

Related Stories

New technique advances bioprinting of cells

July 1, 2011

Ever since an ordinary office inkjet printer had its ink cartridges swapped out for a cargo of cells about 10 years ago and sprayed out cell-packed droplets to create living tissue, scientists and engineers have never looked ...

Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer

March 16, 2012

Researchers from Clemson University have found a way to create temporary holes in the membranes of live cells using a standard inkjet printer. The method will be published in JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, on ...

Recommended for you

Findings illuminate animal evolution in protein function

July 27, 2015

Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond researchers recently teamed up to explore the inner workings of cells and shed light on the 400–600 million years of evolution between humans and early animals ...

New polymer able to store energy at higher temperatures

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers at the Pennsylvania State University has created a new polymer that is able to store energy at higher temperatures than conventional polymers without breaking down. In their paper published ...

How to look for a few good catalysts

July 30, 2015

Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how liquids spread across a surface.

Yarn from slaughterhouse waste

July 29, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibers. Now they are working on making the yarn even more water resistant.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.