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Printing With Cells – Growing in Success

A journal has been published detailing a study on the development on a hybrid polymer, which could be used to print scaffolds for cells to grow, creating engineered tissues.

In these incredibly specialized niche areas, you wouldn’t think it would be possible for more commercial machines to be used to create pieces for use in surgical applications, however this is demonstrated in the study, which is part of a peer-reviewed journal called 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, which is available to view and download until September 22nd 2016.

Who’s involved?The methods are presented by Lucas Albrecht, Stepgen Sawyer and Pranav Soman, from Syracuse University in New York, showing how polycaprolactone-based polymers were made, and how they were used to fabricate scaffolds, using a Makerbot 3D FDM printer. In the particular article “Developing 3D Scaffolds in the Field of Tissue Engineering to Treat Complex Bone Defects” they also detailed how they overcame the challenges when creating the scaffolding material in a spool form.

The team incorporated living cells mixed with gelatin hydrogels into the scaffolds, and many of the cells managed to survive. They also explain the possible applications of the techniques they used, including the possibility of using engineered tissue to repair complex bone defects.

“The authors developed hybrid spools using the FDA-approved PCL polymer as the base material and mixing in poly-l-lactic acid or hydroxyapatite particles, and demonstrated the compatibility of these hybrid polymer spools with a readily accessible, commercial 3D printer to fabricate scaffolds capable of supporting the growth of live cells,” says Editor-in-Chief Skylar Tibbits, Director, Self-Assembly Lab, MIT, and Founder & Principal, SJET LLC.