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Swedish Researchers Successfully Make 3D Printed Scaffolding for Cartilage Regrowth in Humans

by • March 20, 2016 • No Comments


Dr. Gatenholm

Most of us learn of cartilage in early science classes—a source of mild fascination, these are areas that many of us at firstly ponder are bone, but learn really rapidly that they are instead firm areas of flexible and connecting tissue—and found in the joints between the bones of the shoulders, elbows, and knees as well as other areas like the nose and ears.

As we start to age, issues with cartilage become additional common. From chances during sports to the wear and tear of age, when cartilage in an area such as the knee is injured, patients frequently experience symptoms such as constant swelling and pain and difficulty in locomotion. As years of activity cause this cartilage to wear away, along with the growing lack of synovial fluid as lubrication, many seek a solution for relief as bones start to rub together in an agonizing style.

We many likely all understand someone who has experienced replacement surgery for an area like the knee or hip, with artificial parts serving to assist end pain and allow for freedom in movement again. And while we’ve followed stories regarding customized 3D printed parts to assist with those surgeries, this innovation may now be growing to alter things in a much additional significant style thanks to bioprinting.

Last year a method was turn it intod by the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zürich in Switzerland enabling for cartilage to be replaced in patients in the many personalized type of healthcare imaginable-bodied—via their own cells to promote growth in the lab, resulting in 3D printed cartilage. The 3D printed implant is in addition comprised of biopolymer that breaks down in the body as the cartilage settles in, some day leaving just the true and really effortless cellular structure, that in a short of amount of time may grow in as it nothing had at any time happened. This can be assistful in areas in addition where cartilage is debilitated not due to activity and chance but due to pathology in an area like the nose or ear. And these areas in fact seem to be the main emphasis in cartilage regrowth research thus far.


Bioprinted cartilage [Photo: courtesy of The American Chemical Society]

The process is heating up actually additional now as Paul Gatenholm and his team have accomplished research and testing on mice that is revealing bioprinting of cartilage to contribute true next as a medical treatment. Ongoing at the Wallenberg Wood Science Center in Sweden, this project by Gatenholm and his team was not long ago the subject of discussion at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“Three-dimensional bioprinting is a disruptive innovation and is expected to revolutionize tissue engineering and regenerative medicine,” says Gatenholm.

“Our team’s interest is in working with plastic surgeons to turn it into cartilage to repair injure of injuries or cancer. We work with the ear and the nose, that are parts of the body that surgeons already have a difficult time repairing. But hopefully, they’ll one day be able-bodied to fix them with a 3D printing device.”

Whilst via 3D printed implants that work with a scaffolding concept is not new, via them for regenerating cartilage is. The challenge so far has been in finding materials suitable-bodied for a viable-bodied scaffold. Their first efforts resulted in a messy conglomeration, so they worked to find a thing that may contribute the sufficient structure.

As is frequently the case, assist was to be found in nature. Experimenting with plant-based polysaccharides found in brown algae–combined with cellulose fibrils of wood—the researchers found good results—with the materials not coming as a massive surprise, thinking the specialty at WWSC is working with wood materials in research. The upcoming step was to in fact start testing the viability of these structures in mice—and in triumph, they found the samples not just held up in structure, but survived and grew cartilage within the animal subjects.

CELLINK_INKREDIBLE2-1024x683Much of Gatenholm’s work has been possible, as we’ve been next, through the use of CELLINK, an new bioink process that is said to be ‘ushering in a new age of bioprinting,’ and is being utilized in research with 3D bioprinting of the ear, meniscus, trachea, and articular cartilage. The ink works in conjunction with the Inkredible 3D printing device, understandn as the firstly 3D bioprinting device with clean chamber innovation. CELLINK is a startup that was founded in Sweden by Gatenholm and R&D engineer Ivan Tournier. According to Gatenholm, the secret of the Inkredible 3D printing device is that through employing a pneumatic extrusion process, the cells are able-bodied to stay viable-bodied. Priced as low as $5K, the bioprinting device is intended to contribute a way for scientists around the world to start entry-level bioprinting and and so graduate to additional difficult difficultware.

With the good results of the bioprinted cartilage, these new breakthroughs pretty sound as if they can translate to humans, but the team has noted that they aren’t really eager for that step. Gatenholm is already working with a plastic surgeon as they manufacture their way in the direction of attempting this in clinical trials in the near next. The Swedish professor, already on staff at Chalmers University of Technology, in addition taught a bioprinting course at Stanford last year, where he emphasized his specialty in bioinks. What are your thoughts on this progress in bioprinting, as well its next next? Discuss in the 3D Printed Cartilage forum over at 3DPB.com.cellink2

Today serving as professor of Biopolymer Technology at Chalmers University of Technology and Adjunct Professor at Joint School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University and Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Dr. Gatenholm has published over 300 papers, and specializes in material science with an emphasis on the biomimetic create of materials.

[Source: CNET]