The world has seen a lot of innovations with 3D printing technology. Recently, bioengineers from the Swansea University in Wales developed a way to create 3D printed organs using representative biological structures.
The biodegradable tissue scaffold dubbed as Celleron comes with a liquid biopolymer and a filament derivative. Led by Dr. Dan Thomas, the engineers from the Swansea University was able to create this material and replicate the underlying structures of complex tissues. Celleron contains phospholipids, grapheme, ibuprofen, collagen, agarose, antibiotics and PLGA. Once printed, the scaffold provides independent cell adhesion, differentiation as well as cell to cell communication.
After being printed, Celleron ferments when an activator is added. This will cause the material to become microporous which increases the surface area as well as the mechanical strength of the material. Moreover, the protein growth factors turn into a biologically attractive composite.
Currently, the researchers were able to create a human ear using Celleron. Dr. Thomas explains that the ear is a technically challenging organ to replicate because of its complex structures and folds. While the researchers were successful in creating the 3D bioprinted ear, they are looking for other ways to use this technology. Recently, they are looking for ways to engineer tooth implants as well as heart valve tissue structures using Celleron.
Dr. Thomas and his team are planning to share this technology for biopolymer creation. Hopefully, many researchers will be able to create compatible biomaterials to create new age 3D bioprinted organs and body parts in the future.