Cancer research is very important in helping many people who are battling with cancer. However, the difficulty with cancer research is that it is challenging to test drugs while using live human tissues. A recent breakthrough done by the University of San Francisco had led to the development of a new technique called DNA Programmed Assembly of Cells.
Postdoctoral fellow Alex Hughes explained that the technique is all about creating biological equivalents of the LEGO bricks which can grow cells even in a simple petri dish. The 3D bioprinted cells can be used to study cancer drug screening. Medical researchers can build models of mammary glands to study the progression of cancer cells on human breasts.
Unlike organoids, the 3D bioprinted human cells can be programmed into any cell type based on the spatial and environmental cues applied on it. It can also be used to create 3D printed organs in the future. If the technique can be perfected, it can be used to create thousands of cells within hours. The team behind this innovation relies on DNA to engineer the human tissues. The 3D printing of the cells occur in layers and with each layer, it is designed to stick to its cell partners.
This is a promising technology that can pave the way for many developments in cancer research as well as synthetic organ production. Researchers hope that they can use the technology in the future to study more complex cellular structures and network in the hopes of fully understanding the human body.