Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bio-fabrication of Artificial Blood Vessels with Laser Light

28.08.2015

Thanks to the development of an artificial, three-layered perfused skin model, the EU research project ArtiVasc 3D is advancing into uncharted territories. An interdisciplinary team of researchers led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has developed a 3D printing process for the production of artificial blood vessels out of innovative materials. They have created the foundation to cultivate a full-thickness skin model to a much greater layer thicknesses than previously possible. At the project’s closing event at Fraunhofer ILT from October 28 to 29, 2015, the ArtiVasc 3D researchers will present their findings in detail.

To date, it has only been possible to cultivate the upper layers of the skin – the epidermis and dermis – with a total thickness of up to 200 micrometers outside the human body. A complete skin system, however, also includes subcutaneous tissue having a thickness of several millimeters.


Macroscopic image of a fatty tissue equivalent containing seven layers.

© Fraunhofer IGB, Stuttgart, Germany


Artificial branched blood vessel.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany

If one wishes to co-cultivate the hypodermis, blood vessels supplying this tissue are imperative since, for cell aggregates of about 200 microns thickness, the following applies: no life without blood. This is where the European research project ArtiVasc 3D starts; it has set itself the goal of enabling significantly more complex tissues to be cultivated in vitro by developing artificial blood vessels.

The Right Material in the Right Form

One of the biggest challenges the project ArtiVasc 3D faced was to develop the right material for the production of artificial blood vessels. For them to be used in the human body, these vessels must have the correct mechanical properties and biocompatibility as well as full processability. Indeed, endothelial cells and pericytes must be able to colonize the artificial blood vessels.

In order to generate these properties, the Fraunhofer scientists combined the freeform methods of inkjet printing and stereolithography. With these combined processes, the researchers were able to achieve a very fine resolution for the construction of branched, porous blood vessels with layer thicknesses of about 20 microns.

The researchers used mathematical simulations to develop data for the construction of branched structures. This data should create the conditions so that branched structures can be generated which allow uniform blood supply. The use of the acrylate-based synthetic polymer developed in the project permits the scientists to construct these optimized vessels with a pore diameter on the order of hundreds of microns. Compared to conventional methods, the ArtiVasc 3D process provides the general conditions to produce branched and biocompatible vessels in this size for the first time.

Foray into the Third Dimension

The results of ArtiVasc 3D are shaping the future. A toolbox has been developed that can respond flexibly to diverse materials, shapes and sizes. These results can be viewed as a precursor to a fully automated process chain for the production of artificial blood vessels, and which can also be integrated into existing lines. Another highlight of the project is the successful breeding of adipose tissue in a novel bioreactor. The combination of the fatty tissue with an existing skin model allowed the production of a full-thickness skin model which has a thickness of up to 12 millimeters.

The successful conquest of the third dimension need not be confined to the skin, however. The ArtiVasc 3D project has also laid the foundations for three-dimensional tissue engineering. By using the principle of blood circulation with artificial blood vessels, medical engineers will be able to build larger structures such as whole organs in the future. For full skin cultured in vitro, there are a variety of applications: quick assistance for large-area skin injuries such as burns or after tumor resection as well as a replacement model that would make animal testing in the pharmaceutical industry unnecessary.

Success Only in a Network

Not only should the blood vessels as such be developed, but also the technology that is required to cultivate the entire skin system fully automatically, within the four-year project period. This extremely ambitious challenge could only be achieved in an interdisciplinary network. All over Europe, twenty partners from the fields of biomaterial development, tissue engineering, freeform methods, automation and simulation have joined forces under the leadership of Fraunhofer ILT.

The ArtiVasc 3D Project Partners

- Aalto University
- Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg
- AO Research Institute Davos
- International Management Services ARTTIC
- Beiersdorf AG
- Berufsgenossenschaftliche Kliniken Bergmannsheil [Bergmannsheil Hospital of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum]
- Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP
- Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB
- Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
- Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation IPA
- Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM
- INNOVENT e.V. Technology Development Jena
- KMS Automation GmbH
- Medical University of Vienna
- Unitechnologies SA
- University of East Anglia
- Loughborough University
- Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Plasma Technology IGVP, University of Stuttgart
- University of Salerno, Department of Industrial Engineering
- Vimecon GmbH

The research in the 3D ArtiVasc project has been financially supported in accordance with the grant agreement no. 263416 in the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (FP7 / 2007-2013).

Join our final workshop and learn more about the latest ArtiVasc 3D results!

On October 28 and 29, 2015, the ArtiVasc 3D researchers will be presenting their results in detail prior to the final workshop at Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen. We would be pleased to welcome you! Please fill in the registration form at www.artivasc.eu

Contact

Dr. rer. nat. Nadine Nottrodt
Biotechnology and Laser Therapy Group
Telephone +49 241 8906-605
nadine.nottrodt@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dipl.-Phys. Sascha Engelhardt
Biotechnology and Laser Therapy Group
Telephone +49 241 8906-605
sascha.engelhardt@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dr. Arnold Gillner
Head of the competence area Ablation and Joining
Telephone +49 241 8906-148
arnold.gillner@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstraße 15
52074 Aachen, Germany
www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.artivasc.eu
http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

Petra Nolis | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

nachricht Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>