Researchers have developed a handheld multi-material bioprinter with applications ranging from wound repair to custom prosthetics. The bioprinter, details of which were published in the journal Biofabrication, improves on earlier devices by enabling the printing of multiple materials and giving control over the properties of printed tissues. Printing multiple materials could improve tissue biomimicry and facilitate the simultaneous or sequential dispensing of different materials and cells. Researchers at the University of Victoria and University of Montreal used the device to print multiple cells, drug-releasing meshes and sensors.
Bioprinting technology has advanced over the past decade. In 2016, researchers shared details of a handheld device for surgical printing of adipose stem cells, and in 2020 another team loaded a device with pore-forming bio-ink for in situ wound dressing.
The latest study addresses some of the limitations of those older technologies. A temperature control module supports long-term printing, and print heads that allow the flow of several bio-inks enable multi-material printing, resulting in a device capable of depositing hydrogel fibers and different types of cells such as dermal fibroblasts.
Using the device, the researchers printed directly on artificially created pig skin wounds. Mohsen Akbari, one of the authors of the paper and an associate professor at the University of Victoria in Canada, explained some of the applications in an article from the Institute of Physics’ IOP Publishing. READ MORE
By Nick Paul Taylor
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