Stanford Researchers Develop Novel Bioink
Materials scientists out of Stanford University have developed a novel bioink to combat some of the drawbacks faced by commonly used bioinks. This team identified the three most pressing drawbacks as settling of cells within the bioink, poor cell viability, and cell dehydration during the printing process. In order to combat these issues, the bioink uses two stages of crosslinking: the first stage uses physical, nonpermanent crosslinks to create an extrudable, weak hydrogel that prevents cells from settling in the print cartridge and provides mechanical protection to the cells during printing; the second stage of crosslinking occurs in the saline bath and uses electrostatic interactions to stiffen the bioink and provide additional structural support and maintain cell hydration. These hydrogels are unique in their ability to allow for an even distribution of cells, to protect cells from harmful mechanical forces during the printing process, and to be printed into a fluid bath to ensure full cell hydration while printing. The beta version of the Allevi printer was used to develop this material and has since been upgraded to the Allevi 2 for further biomaterials development and testing.
Dubbin, K., Hori, Y., Lewis, K. K. and Heilshorn, S. C. (2016), Dual-Stage Crosslinking of a Gel-Phase Bioink Improves Cell Viability and Homogeneity for 3D Bioprinting. Advanced Healthcare Materials. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201600636
Post by: Karen Dubbin, PhD Student at Stanford University (LinkedIn)