Beyond Bioprinting: The Way Ahead In Biological AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 30)

Welcome to our 30th News In Review for 2017!

We’ve all heard of the 3D printed heart and ear tissue. There is much more to bioprinting than these initial steps and, thanks to new technologies, explorations and endeavors, the road ahead is looking a whole lot more exciting. New technologies enable researchers with nanoscale control of the manufacturing environment, both low-powered and more precise, to create bioprinted scaffolds for a variety of uses. Synthetic biologist will surely make good use of the new tech: 3D printed bioreactors can be manufactured to generate specific kinds of biologic products, like proteins of even antibiotics. Bioprinting is skyrocketing, beyond the confines of our atmosphere. NASA has revealed plans to bring bioprinted cancer cells to the ISS in order to study potential treatments in a controlled, zero-g environment.

Light-directed assembly using gold nano-rods opens up 3D bioprinting applications

Using gold nano rods and near infrared laser for bioprinting

[…] the use of high-powered lasers to pattern micro/nanoscale objects has drawbacks. In particular, the substantial energy required to move material or objects means that high throughput of material is not possible. Now a team at the National University of Singapore have announced another technique to engineer living tissue. In the paper “Effective Light Directed Assembly of Building Blocks with Microscale Control” a method for improving control over the micro structure with light-directed assembly is described. The researchers believe their method could have applications for bioprinting, tissue engineering, and advanced manufacturing. Working with microfluidic-fabricated monodispersed biocompatible microparticles the scientists were able to fabricate a structure.

Check out the rest of the article here.

A better way to make drinks and drugs

Carefully selected molds churn out antibiotics. Specially engineered bacteria, living in high-tech bioreactors, pump out proteinaceous drugs such as insulin. Some brave souls even talk of taking on the petroleum industry by designing yeast or algae that will synthesize alternatives to aviation fuel and the like. Dr Nelson’s bioreactors are composed of a substance called a hydrogel, which is about 70% water. The remaining 30% is a special polymer, infused with yeast. [It can] be extruded smoothly through the nozzle of a 3D printer.The fun starts when such a [hydrogel] cube is plopped into a solution of glucose. The hydrogel is permeable to this solution, so the yeast is able to get to work on the glucose, converting it into ethanol as if it were the sugar in the wort of a brewery. […] The surprise was that it keeps on doing so, day after day, week after week, as long as the fermented solution is regularly replaced with fresh. The team’s bioreactors have continued to produce ethanol in this way for over four months now, with no signs of slowing down.

Read the full article on The Economist’s website.

NASA to take cancer fight into space with bioprinted cells

A BioCell which can contain six samples. Photo via BioServe.

NASA has revealed plans to grow bioprinted cancer cells in space in a bid to advance cancer research. Utilizing the microgravity environment, NASA hopes to the cell structures will grow in a more natural spherical shape. Since, back on earth in vitro the cells have only able been able to grow in two-dimensional layers. However to harness the cells without the presence of gravity, NASA is hoping to employ magnets.

Read more about NASA’s plans here.

 

This is it for this week, don’t forget to check out our Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin feeds for more news on the AM/IIoT world as well as updates to our services.

See you next week!

Redifining Medical Customizability (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 07)

Hi all and welcome to week 6 of Authentise News-In-Review!

This week we are going to talk about customization for medical applications. AM’s freedom of design makes this one of technology’s core benefits, but nowhere is this more true than in the medical arena. We’ve long heard about custom prosthetics but it can go much further than that. Personalized medicine is taking giant steps to practicality thanks to AM and new “bioinks” are enabling new treatments that could mould to specific patients’ scenarios, like dodging intolerances or adding particular vitamin supplements. Laboratories can study diseases in custom made samples thanks to 3D printing’s power to change design, physical properties and materials on the designer’s whim.

Let’s dive in.

A new 3D bioink for PolyJet 3D printed pills

Researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a viable bioink for 3D printed pills.  In this study, Giovanny Acosta-Vélez, Chase Linsley, Madison Craig and Benjamin Wu favour the inkjet technique over other 3D printing technologies for its speed and ability to print at room temperature. The temperate environment ensures that active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) aren’t damaged in the process, and speed is of course preferable for mass production. The 3D printable bioink from UCL is made from hyaluronic acid – a key ingredient in skin, connective tissues and the nervous system. A photoinitator is added to the acid so that it solidifies when in contact with light. This mixture is used to fill preformed tablets displaying the properties of an atypical oral tablet.

Read the full article here.

Porous 3D printed scaffolds help Rice University scientists tackle bone cancer

Scientists at Rice University in Houston have used 3D printing to create porous, bone-like scaffolds that can be used to study bone cancer tumors. They found that the size and orientation of individual pores affected how cells proliferate in the absence of blood. According to bioengineer Antonios Mikos, the 3D printed polymer bone scaffold contains artificial pores that constrain the flow of fluid and apply shear stress to tumor cells […] The scientists believe that this model could be vital for finding out more about bone cancer and potential treatments: “We aim to develop tumor models that can capture the complexity of tumors in vitro and can be used for drug testing, thus providing a platform for drug development while reducing the associated cost,” Mikos said.

Read the full article here.

3D Printing the Future of Surgery

One of the most hotly anticipated areas for 3D printing to impact is medicine. A myriad of stories have appeared pointing to all manner of exciting innovations in the medical field. Sadly many of the “3D printed ear/nose/heart/ etc.” stories have been rather disingenuous or are at the very least very optimistic. To give you a more accurate view of the possibilities of 3D printing in medicine we’ll look at one particular area: surgery.

Read how AM is and will transform the surgical world on 3DPrint.

 

As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to receive more news that don’t make the cut to the weekly report and come back next week for another News-In-Review!