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American Process Inc. Partners With Swansea University to Develop 3D Printed Tissue Using Nanocellulose

by • July 6, 2016 • No Comments


Dalan Jennet attained a 3D printed nose after a severe burn.

Of all the awe-inspiring things that 3D printing has done, facial reconstruction is one of the many amazing. It wasn’t long ago that someone suffering of severe facial injure or deformity had to resign themselves to living with that disfigurement, but advancements in reconstructive surgery have been taking place swift, and a lot of that has to do with 3D modeling and printing. The innovation has given a burned child a new nose, restored an chance victim’s cheekbone and eye socket, and actually given a firefighter an entirely new face – and that’s only to name a few examples.

A new collaboration between two prominent institutions has the next to take reconstructive surgery actually additional through bioprinting. American Process Inc. (API), an Atlanta-based company dedicated to the turn it intoment of renewable biomass materials, has entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Swansea University Medical School in Wales to turn it into 3D printed cartilage to be utilized for facial reconstruction.

ReconRegen_logo_Red-01The project is being funded by a grant of the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council to Swansea University’s Reconstructive Surgery and Regenerative Medicine (ReconRegen) Research Group, that consists of a team of scientists and clinicians researching the use of tissue engineering and stem cells in reconstructive and regenerative procedures. Their research has shown that nanocellulose is compatible with human cells and can be 3D printed as a assist structure in bioprinting – and in addition that living cells can survive the printing system.

One of API’s worthwhile products is their BioPlus nanocellulose material, that can be utilized as part of the JDA to turn it into scaffolding material for the project. Human cells can be blended with different types of nanocellulose scaffold formulations and 3D printed to turn it into living tissue that, the research group hopes, can actuallytually be utilized for reconstructive surgery. The goal is to turn it into anatomically-shaped tissue, tailored to individual patients, that can survive long-term.


Professor Iain Whitaker

“3D printing is increasingly utilized to make prosthetics and implants of materials like plastic or titanium. But bio-printing – via human cells instead of man-made material – is a promising new science,” said project lead Professor Iain Whitaker, director of the ReconRegen group. “We are printing living tissues, living structures, tailored to the needs of individual patients.

“We hope that in the next, patients who have lost all or part of their ear or nose through trauma or cancer may have reconstruction via new tissue that is grown of their own cells via nanocellulose. Biomaterials are a key component of our tissue printing innovation and nanocellulose is our biomaterial of choice for the reason of its biocompatibility, mechanical and structural properties that can assist cell attachment and growth in three-dimensions.”

Nanocellulose is perfect as a bio-ink for numerous reasons. Its high water-holding ability and particle assembly in water allow it to form shear-thinning gels that flow like liquid during printing but solidify into firm, gel-like structures after being deposited. Those structures and so additional harden into dense, sturdy forms after drying. It is like the ultimate effortless filament.

bioplus-logo1-350pxAPI’s BioPlus innovation is already being demonstrated at their Thomaston Biorefinery in Thomaston, Georgia, home to the company’s research and turn it intoment laboratory. Today, API possesses four patents in the United States, with additional than 100 pending. Their BioPlus method is capable of creating nanocellulose products with a variety of particle sizes and surface chemistry, that, along with its capability for generating sizeable quantities of material, makes it perfect for the project, according to MRC Clinical Research Fellow Zita Jessop.

“Nanocellulose has a variety of advantages that we assume to worthwhilely impact the expanding biomedical engineering field,” said Theodora Retsina, CEO of API. “Tissue engineering alone can have worthwhile impact on the global economy. According to a new market report, the global market can increase of US$23 billion already to over US$94 billion by 2022. We are thrilled to collaborate with the innovators at Swansea who are contributing to this global growth. We created our BioPlus® nanocellulose demonstration plant to assist efforts such as this to turn it into break-through technologies that can provide solutions for a additional healthful, prosperous next for global citizens.”

Discuss additional in the 3D Printed Cartilage forum over at 3DPB.com.