Recently, scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney have developed a ceramic-based ink that can be 3D printed containing bone-like structures of living cells. It is predicted that in the near future, 3D printers may become a standing fixture in the operating room.
Scientists used a special ink made of calcium phosphate in the 3D printer, and developed a new technology called “Ceramic Omnidirectional Bioprinting in Cell Suspension (COBICS)”. This technique only needs to be placed in water for a few minutes to harden, allowing them to print out bone-like structures.
Dr. Iman Roohani from the School of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales said that although 3D printing of bone-like structures is not new, this is the first time that materials filled with living cells and without irritating chemicals or radiation have been created at room temperature. “This unique technology can produce a structure that closely mimics bone tissue, and can be used in clinical applications where there is a large demand for in situ repair of bone defects, such as bone defects caused by trauma, cancer, or removal of most of the tissue.”
and Associate Professor Kristopher Kilian, who co-developed the technology with Dr. Roohani, believes that living cells can be part of the 3D printing structure, and its portability is a huge advancement in the current state-of-the-art technology.
He said: “If you want to make a bone-like material that can repair the patient’s bone tissue, you first need to enter the laboratory and use a high-temperature furnace and toxic chemicals to make the structure.”
According to Professor Kilian, the resulting dry material is brought into the clinic. A lot of washing is done in the environment or laboratory, and then live cells are added to it. “The beauty of our technology is that it can be directly squeezed into the cavity in the patient’s bones and other places with cells. It can directly enter the bones with cells, blood vessels, and fat, and print out the bone-like structures that already contain living cells. Regional. Currently, there is no other technology that can do this directly.”
Dr. Sara Romanazzo prepares to 3D print a bone using COBICS technology
In a recent research paper published in “Advanced Functional Materials”, it described how to develop special inks in a microgel matrix with living cells.
Dr. Roohani said: “The ink uses the setting mechanism to transform the inorganic ink into mechanically interlocked bone apatite nanocrystals by locally nano-crystallization of its components in an aqueous environment. In other words, it forms a similar chemical structure For bone building blocks. The ink is formulated in a way that makes the conversion fast and non-toxic in a biological environment, and only begins to convert when the ink is exposed to the biological environment, thus providing sufficient work for the end user (such as a surgeon) Time. After mixing the ink with collagen containing living cells, bone-like tissue can be produced in situ. This bone-like tissue may be suitable for bone tissue engineering applications, disease modeling, drug screening, and in-situ reconstruction.”
Therefore Although this technology has just appeared, surgeons and medical technology manufacturers have already developed a keen interest in it. Professor Kilian believes that although it is still in its infancy, this new 3D printing bone technology may create a new way to treat and repair bone tissue.
”This progress has really paved the way for countless opportunities, and we believe these opportunities can prove to be revolutionary. From using ink to create bones in the laboratory for disease modeling, as a bioactive material for tooth restoration, and To guide the patient’s bone reconstruction. In the future, we can imagine that patients who need bone transplantation can walk into the clinic, where their bone anatomy is imaged, converted to 3D printing, and then printed directly into the cavity with their own cells. This It is possible to fundamentally change the current treatment methods, reduce the suffering of patients and ultimately save lives.”
Next, the two will conduct in vivo tests in animal models to observe the bone-like structures after being implanted in existing bone tissues. Of living cells will continue to grow.