Researchers Develop Ceramic 3D Printer Ink That Can Print Bone-Like Material At Room Temperature Using Living Cells.
3D printing of internal organs, skin and blood vessels is challenging because all these tissues are made up of living cells. However, bone is a mixture of living and inorganic compounds in a structured mineral matrix. Therefore, the printing of artificial bones opens up a lot of applications in medicine: from the restoration of damaged areas to the treatment of cancer and other diseases..
Currently, the most progressive method of restoration is the creation of an autologous graft obtained by harvesting bone from another part of the patient’s body. Unfortunately, this method is associated with a high risk of infection and is not suitable if a large amount of material is required..
Therefore, a team of bioengineers at the University of New South Wales has developed biocompatible 3D printer ink that can be printed in an aquatic environment such as the body. When placed in a gelatin bath or other solution of calcium-phosphate material forms a paste, which at room temperature solidifies into a porous nanocrystalline matrix with a structure similar to bone tissue.
The created ink is suitable for standard 3D printers with a special attachment in the form of a needle with a diameter of 0.2-0.8 mm. In addition to the ceramic composition, they also contain living cells that interact with the artificial structure and divide within a few weeks after printing with 95% viability..
New 3D printing technology will allow bone growth right in the body
In the course of the study, scientists have successfully created synthetic bone structures up to 5 mm in size. The team will then print larger samples and begin testing autologous grafts in small laboratory animals. Ultimately, the technology will allow bones to be printed directly into the patient’s body.
Recall that earlier scientists also invented bio-ink and robotic tools for 3D printing organs right inside the body. a person through small incisions.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Wiley-VCH GmbH, Weinheim