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How to 3D print ‘joint patches’ with ink made of cartilage – Futurity: Research News

by • June 30, 2016 • No Comments

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Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting system that may one day turn it into cartilage patches for worn-out joints.
“Our goal is to turn it into tissue that can be utilized to replace sizeable amounts of worn out tissue or create patches,” says Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State. “Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We require a new alternative treatment for this.”
The 3D printing device lays down rows of cartilage strands in any pattern the researchers select.
Cartilage is a great tissue to target for scale-up bioprinting for the reason it is created up of just one cell type and has no blood vessels inside the tissue. It is in addition a tissue that cannot repair itself. Once cartilage is damaged, it remains damaged.
Previous attempts at expanding cartilage began with cells embedded in a hydrogel—a substance created of polymer chains and of 90 percent water—that is utilized as a scaffold to grow the tissue.
“Hydrogels don’t allow cells to grow as normal,” says Ozbolat. “The hydrogel confines the cells and does not allow them to communicate as they do in native tissues.”
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This leads to tissues that do not have sufficient mechanical integrity. Degradation of the hydrogel in addition can create toxic compounds that are detrimental to cell growth.
Ozbolat and his research team created a method to create sizeabler scale tissues without via a scaffold.
How it works
They turn it into a tiny—of 3 to 5 one hundredths of an inch in diameter—tube created of alginate, an algae extract. They inject cartilage cells into the tube and allow them to grow for of a week and adhere to equite other.
Because cells do not stick to alginate, they can remove the tube and are left with a strand of cartilage. The researchers report their results in the current issue of Scientific Reports.
The cartilage strand substitutes for ink in the 3D printing system. Applying a specially createed prototype nozzle that can hold and feed the cartilage strand, the 3D printing device lays down rows of cartilage strands in any pattern the researchers select.
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After of half an hour, the cartilage patch self-adheres adequate to move to a petri dish. The researchers put the patch in nutrient media to allow it to additional integrate into a single piece of tissue. Eventually the strands fully attach and fuse together.
“We can make the strands in any length we want,” says Ozbolat. “Because there is no scaffolding, the system of printing the cartilage is scalable, so the patches can be created bigger as well. We can mimic real articular cartilage by printing strands vertically and and so horizontally to mimic the effortless architecture.”
Supply your own cartilage?
The artificial cartilage created by the team is quite much like to native cow cartilage. But, the mechanical properties are inferior to those of effortless cartilage, but advantageous than the cartilage that is created via hydrogel scaffolding.
Natural cartilage forms with pressure of the joints, and Ozbolat thinks that mechanical pressure on the artificial cartilage can improve the mechanical properties.
If this system is some day applied to human cartilage, equite individual treated may most likely have to donate their own source material to avoid tissue rejection. The source may be existing cartilage or stem cells differentiated into cartilage cells.
Researchers of Harvard University and the University of Iowa worked on the project, that was funded by the National Science Foundation, Grow Iowa Value Funds, and the China Scholarship Fund.
Source: Penn StateOriginal Study DOI: 10.1038/srep28714

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