Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have developed a printing technique using cells and molecules normally found in natural tissues to create constructs that resemble biological structures.
These structures are embedded in an ink which is similar to their native environment and opens the possibility to make them behave as they would in the body.
This allows the researchers to observe how cells work within these environments and potentially enables them to study biological scenarios such as where cancer grows or how immune cells interact with other cells, which could lead to the development of new drugs.
The technique combines molecular self-assembly, building structures by assembling molecules like Lego pieces, with additive manufacturing, similar to 3D printing, to recreate the complex structures.
The structures can be manufactured under digital control and with molecular precision which also enables the researchers to create constructs that mimic body parts or tissues for tissue engineering or regenerative medicine.
The study is published in Advanced Functional Materials.
Professor Alvaro Mata, from Queen Mary's School of Engineering and Materials Science, said: "The technique opens the possibility to design and create biological scenarios like complex and specific cell environments, which can be used in different fields such as tissue engineering by creating constructs that resemble tissues or in vitro models that can be used to test drugs in a more efficient manner."
The technique integrates the micro- and macroscopic control of structural features that printing provides with the molecular and nano-scale control enabled by self-assembly. Because of this, it addresses a major need in 3D printing where commonly used printing inks have limited capacity to actively stimulate the cells that are being printed.
PhD student Clara Hedegaard, leading author of the paper, added: "This method enables the possibility to build 3D structures by printing multiple types of biomolecules capable of assembling into well defined structures at multiple scales. Because of this, the self-assembling ink provides an opportunity to control the chemical and physical properties during and after printing, which can be tuned to stimulate cell behaviour."
The study was carried out in collaboration with the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the University of Oxford.
It was supported by the European Research Council's Starting Grant (STROFUNSCAFF), the FP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG Biomorph, the Royal Society, and the European Space Agency's Drop My Thesis program 2016.
Rupert Marquand | EurekAlert!
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences