To date, flat 2D cell scaffolds have been used extensively in biomedical research, however 2D models do not accurately represent cellular interactions in biological systems, and the testing and development of relevant drugs often results in errors as a result. To avoid such errors, 3D printer manufacturer UpNano has launched its new NanoOne Bio 3D bioprinting system, which is capable of printing 3D tissue structures of living cells from the mesoscale to the nanoscale.
UpNano NanoOne Bio and its incubation chamber
The printing of high-precision 3D scaffolds with embedded live cells has so far been hampered by limitations in materials and 3D bioprinting systems. The company has also collaborated with biomaterials developer Xpect INX (a division of Ghent University) to create a hydrogel-based bioink for a completely new 3D printing system. the joint development of NanoOne Bio and X Hydrobio INX U200 resin is expected to change this situation as described above.
X Hydrobio INX U200 is compatible with osteoblasts
Xpect’s new bioink is a water-soluble hydrogel that enables users to integrate live 2D cell cultures directly from their culture dishes. Once embedded in the bioink, the cells can be fed directly into the NanoOne Bio where they are printed in a complex 3D scaffold. Thanks to the system’s use of this high-powered laser, structures are printed both precisely and quickly, meaning users will be able to create centimetre-scale structures with ease.
Jasper Van Hoorick, Xpect INX project leader, explains, “The gelatin-based X Hydrobio INX U200 has been developed specifically for the encapsulation of multiple cell types and can therefore generate complex 3D microscopic tissues.” “The hydrogel mimics the natural cellular environment and is biodegradable, thus allowing cells to gradually replace this material with newly formed tissue.”
X Hydrobio INX U200 fused to corneal endothelial cells
With the launch of NanoOne Bio, UpNano expects customers in academia and industry. It is now possible to 3D print cellular structures that resemble real biological tissue, thus enabling natural interactions between cells and environmental stimuli. Pharmaceutical companies and research institutions alike will be empowered to design cellular models that more closely match actual human conditions, thus making drug development and other biomedical research safer and more reliable.