Novel microplate 3-D bioprinting platform for muscle and tendon tissue engineering

June 13, 2018, SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)
Postholder insert for the printing of dumbbell-shaped muscle-tendon tissues in a 24-well plate (left above: postholder, right above: postholder in 24-well plate [top view], bottom: bioprinted muscle tissue in 24-well well plate differentiated for 14 days [top view]). Credit: Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

There is a strong need for medication that treats age-related degenerative muscle and tendon diseases. A critical bottleneck in the discovery and development of novel drugs for skeletal muscle is the lack of efficient and robust functional in vitro assays for compound screening.

In a new SLAS Technology original research article available now for free ahead-of-print, researchers in Switzerland describe the development of a novel screening platform with automated production of 3-D muscle- and tendon-like tissues using 3-D bioprinting. The novelty and importance of this new approach is the combination of the automated musculoskeletal production using 3-D bioprinting with a new microwell plate addressing the specific tissue attachment requirements. Thus, this screening platform represents a promising new tool for musculoskeletal drug discovery and development.

Muscle and tendon tissue models are fabricated by printing alternating layers of photo-polymerized gelatin-methacryloyl-based bioink and cell suspensions in a dumbbell shape onto a newly designed cell culture insert in 24-well plates containing two vertical posts. The show high viability after printing in culture and good tissue differentiation based on marker gene and protein expressions.

In addition, functionality of the muscle tissue models is demonstrated by calcium signaling of Fluo4-loaded cells and myofiber contractility induced by electrical pulse stimulation. Finally, the authors successfully fabricate tendon-muscle-tendon co-cultures by printing tenocytes around the posts of the cell culture inserts and myoblasts between the posts.

Explore further: Decellularized muscle grafts support skeletal muscle regeneration to treat tissue loss

More information: Sandra Laternser et al, A Novel Microplate 3D Bioprinting Platform for the Engineering of Muscle and Tendon Tissues, SLAS TECHNOLOGY: Translating Life Sciences Innovation (2018). DOI: 10.1177/2472630318776594

Related Stories

Achilles is more than just one tendon

November 20, 2017

The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body. It can bear loads exceeding over 900 kilograms during running. Despite its strength, it is prone to injuries and it is not yet well known what factors predict ...

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

October 4, 2018

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize ...

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.