Researchers at UCLA, Harvard, UC San Diego, University of Santiago de Compostela, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Sharif University of Technology have collaborated to create a stereolithographic bioprinting platform capable of printing with multiple materials . This novel device utilizes a digital micromirror device, a moving stage, and a microfluidic device with four pneumatic valves to rapidly switching between various bioinks for multimaterial printing . The micromirror incorporates a UV lamp, digital mirroring device chipset, Keplerian optical setup, and a microscope objective to focus and adjust light intensity on a DMD chip . The light beam is generated into different patterns on the chip using CAD. The microscopic objected focuses the selected pattern at the optimal length where photosensitive hydrogels can be be exposed to UV light to crosslink, solidify, and create complex structures . While the bioprinter has successfully demonstrated printing with four different bioinks, researchers claim that “the process can accommodate as many inks as needed.”
Cellulose is a major component in plant cell walls and is both chemically and mechanically stable synthetic polymer with a multitude of tissue engineering applications. It is easily accessible and inexpensive, making it an ideal biomaterial . Additionally, cellulose has shown been shown to promote wound healing . However, cellulose has dissolution difficulty and applications in tissue engineering are plagued with lack of scalability and high production costs . In recent news, researcher at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have found a use for cellulose in biofabrication and manufacturing 3D objects . They have combined cellulose with chitosan, the second most abundant organic molecule on earth, and low concentrations of acetic acid to produce fungal-like adhesive materials (FLAM) that is durable, inexpensive, and scalable. FLAM costs roughly $2/kg with a density of 0.37 g/cm and is ecologically sustainable . Find out how this new biomaterial presents a turning point for global manufacturing with high impact on multiple industries in this Nature Publication.
Bioprinting functional organs has been a challenge due to difficulties in printing the necessary vascular systems with multi materials. Successful tissue printing has been projected to be attainable in 6-8 months . However, BIOLIFE4D has successfully 3d bioprinted human cardiac tissue in just a few days and are now working on bioprinting other constructs such as valves and blood vessels in their journey to bioprint a human heart. BIOLIFE4D’s bioprinting process reprograms the patient’s own white blood cells to iPS cells before differentiating them into cardiac cells . This allows successfully bioprinting of cardiac cells derived from a patient’s own iPS cells to create transplantable organs with little to no rejection rates. Learn more about how BIOLIFE4D’s bioprinting process here.
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