Researchers are refining the method of sticking bio-ink droplets to actually switch to regenerative medicine. This allows 3D printing of highly complex biological structures with a wide variety of cell types using jet printers.
Researchers are developing a finely tuned enzymatic crosslinking method to bond biological ink droplets and expand the range of cell types that can be manipulated by bioprinting with a 3D jet printer. Such an impression is very promising for regenerative medicine.
Re-print replacement human body pieces may seem like science fiction, but this technology is now becoming a reality. Before any real application, however, bioprinting still faces many technical challenges. Few methods currently exist to stick together cells from different "bio-ink" droplets because they do not work for each type of cell. This motivates new alternative approaches.
It's only a beginning
Based on their earlier work, researchers at Osaka University have now refined an enzyme-based approach to glue together different cells from different biological ink droplets. " The impression of any tissue structure is a complex process ", says lead author Shinji Sakai. " The bio-ink must have a sufficiently low viscosity to pass through the inkjet printer while rapidly forming a very viscous gel structure.
Now, new scaffolds are needed to print and support these cells to bring us closer to complete 3D printing of functional tissue.
The new approach based on enzymatic cross-linking is very versatile and should help all working groups achieve this goal.