postdoc, Queensland University of Technology
Could 3D Printable edible seaweed reduce animal testing?
Our recent advances in materials science has enable us to use to precisely organize human stem cells in a 3D printed object made of edible seaweed. This results pave the way towards the creation of synthetic human tissue in petri dish which could be used to test future cures of today diseases while reducing the need of animal testing.
Abstract: Cartilage is a dense connective tissue with limited self-repair capabilities. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) laden hydrogels are commonly used for fibrocartilage and articular cartilage tissue engineering, however they typically lack the mechanical integrity for implantation into high load bearing environments. This has led to increased interested in 3D bioprinting of cell laden hydrogel bioinks reinforced with stiffer polymer fibres. The objective of this study was to compare a range of commonly used hydrogel bioinks (agarose, alginate, GelMA and BioINK™) for their printing properties and capacity to support the development of either hyaline cartilage or fibrocartilage in vitro. Each hydrogel was seeded with MSCs, cultured for 28 days in the presence of TGF-β3 and then analysed for markers indicative of differentiation towards either a fibrocartilaginous or hyaline cartilage-like phenotype. Alginate and agarose hydrogels best supported the development of hyaline-like cartilage, as evident by the development of a tissue staining predominantly for type II collagen. In contrast, GelMA and BioINK(™) (a PEGMA based hydrogel) supported the development of a more fibrocartilage-like tissue, as evident by the development of a tissue containing both type I and type II collagen. GelMA demonstrated superior printability, generating structures with greater fidelity, followed by the alginate and agarose bioinks. High levels of MSC viability were observed in all bioinks post-printing (∼80%). Finally we demonstrate that it is possible to engineer mechanically reinforced hydrogels with high cell viability by co-depositing a hydrogel bioink with polycaprolactone filaments, generating composites with bulk compressive moduli comparable to articular cartilage. This study demonstrates the importance of the choice of bioink when bioprinting different cartilaginous tissues for musculoskeletal applications.
Pub.: 08 Oct '16, Pinned: 26 Aug '17
Abstract: Despite the significant technological advancement in tissue engineering, challenges still exist towards the development of complex and fully functional tissue constructs that mimic their natural counterparts. To address these challenges, bioprinting has emerged as an enabling technology to create highly organized three-dimensional (3D) vascular networks within engineered tissue constructs to promote the transport of oxygen, nutrients, and waste products, which can hardly be realized using conventional microfabrication techniques. Here, we report the development of a versatile 3D bioprinting strategy that employs biomimetic biomaterials and an advanced extrusion system to deposit perfusable vascular structures with highly ordered arrangements in a single-step process. In particular, a specially designed cell-responsive bioink consisting of gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA), sodium alginate, and 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-tetra-acrylate (PEGTA) was used in combination with a multilayered coaxial extrusion system to achieve direct 3D bioprinting. This blend bioink could be first ionically crosslinked by calcium ions followed by covalent photocrosslinking of GelMA and PEGTA to form stable constructs. The rheological properties of the bioink and the mechanical strengths of the resulting constructs were tuned by the introduction of PEGTA, which facilitated the precise deposition of complex multilayered 3D perfusable hollow tubes. This blend bioink also displayed favorable biological characteristics that supported the spreading and proliferation of encapsulated endothelial and stem cells in the bioprinted constructs, leading to the formation of biologically relevant, highly organized, perfusable vessels. These characteristics make this novel 3D bioprinting technique superior to conventional microfabrication or sacrificial templating approaches for fabrication of the perfusable vasculature. We envision that our advanced bioprinting technology and bioink formulation may also have significant potentials in engineering large-scale vascularized tissue constructs towards applications in organ transplantation and repair.
Pub.: 24 Aug '16, Pinned: 26 Aug '17
Abstract: 3D bioprinting is a group of rapidly growing techniques that allows building engineered tissue constructs with complex and hierarchical structures, mechanical and biological heterogeneity. It enables implementation of various bioinks through different printing mechanisms and precise deposition of cell and/or biomolecule laden biomaterials in predefined locations. This review briefly summarizes applicable bioink materials and various bioprinting techniques, and presents the recent advances in bioprinting of cardiovascular tissues, with focusing on vascularized constructs, myocardium and heart valve conduits. Current challenges and further perspectives are also discussed to help guide the bioink and bioprinter development, improve bioprinting strategies and direct future organ bioprinting and translational applications.
Pub.: 11 Apr '16, Pinned: 26 Aug '17
Abstract: 3D bioprinting holds remarkable promise for rapid fabrication of 3D tissue engineering constructs. Given its scalability, reproducibility, and precise multi-dimensional control that traditional fabrication methods do not provide, 3D bioprinting provides a powerful means to address one of the major challenges in tissue engineering: vascularization. Moderate success of current tissue engineering strategies have been attributed to the current inability to fabricate thick tissue engineering constructs that contain endogenous, engineered vasculature or nutrient channels that can integrate with the host tissue. Successful fabrication of a vascularized tissue construct requires synergy between high throughput, high-resolution bioprinting of larger perfusable channels and instructive bioink that promotes angiogenic sprouting and neovascularization. This review aims to cover the recent progress in the field of 3D bioprinting of vascularized tissues. It will cover the methods of bioprinting vascularized constructs, bioink for vascularization, and perspectives on recent innovations in 3D printing and biomaterials for the next generation of 3D bioprinting for vascularized tissue fabrication.
Pub.: 28 May '16, Pinned: 26 Aug '17
Abstract: The introduction of 3D bioprinting is expected to revolutionize the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The 3D bioprinter is able to dispense materials while moving in X, Y, and Z directions, which enables the engineering of complex structures from the bottom up. In this study, a bioink that combines the outstanding shear thinning properties of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) with the fast cross-linking ability of alginate was formulated for the 3D bioprinting of living soft tissue with cells. Printability was evaluated with concern to printer parameters and shape fidelity. The shear thinning behavior of the tested bioinks enabled printing of both 2D gridlike structures as well as 3D constructs. Furthermore, anatomically shaped cartilage structures, such as a human ear and sheep meniscus, were 3D printed using MRI and CT images as blueprints. Human chondrocytes bioprinted in the noncytotoxic, nanocellulose-based bioink exhibited a cell viability of 73% and 86% after 1 and 7 days of 3D culture, respectively. On the basis of these results, we can conclude that the nanocellulose-based bioink is a suitable hydrogel for 3D bioprinting with living cells. This study demonstrates the potential use of nanocellulose for 3D bioprinting of living tissues and organs.
Pub.: 26 Mar '15, Pinned: 26 Aug '17
Abstract: This study introduces a thermogelling bioink based on carboxylated agarose (CA) for bioprinting of mechanically defined microenvironments mimicking natural tissues. In CA system, by adjusting the degree of carboxylation, the elastic modulus of printed gels can be tuned over several orders of magnitudes (5-230 Pa) while ensuring almost no change to the shear viscosity (10-17 mPa) of the bioink solution; thus enabling the fabrication of 3D structures made of different mechanical domains under identical printing parameters and low nozzle shear stress. Human mesenchymal stem cells printed using CA as a bioink show significantly higher survival (95%) in comparison to when printed using native agarose (62%), a commonly used thermogelling hydrogel for 3D-bioprinting applications. This work paves the way toward the printing of complex tissue-like structures composed of a range of mechanically discrete microdomains that could potentially reproduce natural mechanical aspects of functional tissues.
Pub.: 22 Jul '17, Pinned: 26 Aug '17
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