With rapid recent advances in 3D printing technology as well as significant improvements in biomaterials engineering, some remarkable new discoveries have recently emerged with a real tangible impact on the tissue engineering field. Here we highlight some interesting new discoveries from the scientific literature from the past week alone.
While concepts used in tissue engineering — the combination of cells with biomaterials to create functioning tissue — has been around for over two decades, research into the field has often lagged due to limited technological know-how in terms of how to functionalize the tissues and keep them alive after being delivered to the end site. Some of the new discoveries have successfully cirumvented this issue.
- Injectable Treatment for Wounds. A group of researchers from Texas A&M University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have published, in ACS Nano, their discovery of a new biomaterial, based on nanocomposite hydrogels composed of synthetic silicate nanoplatelets and gelatin, to treat internal bleeding. The authors have shown that these materials may decrease in vitro blood clotting times by 77%. While preliminary in vivo studies have shown the effectiveness of the materials, further studies will be needed to establish their potential in vascularization and ultimately rebuilding damaged tissue.
- Organovo Launches 3D Printed Liver. This week, Organovo announced the launch of exVive3D – bioprinted, living 3D human liver tissues consisting of primary human hepatocytes, stellate, and endothelial cell types. The exVive3D Liver Models are created using Organovo’s proprietary 3D bioprinting technology. The tissues are functional and stable for at least 42 days, and have been shown to produce important liver proteins including albumin, fibrinogen transferrin, cholesterol, and cytochrome P450. The tissues are intended for preclinical drug discovery testing.
- Evaluating electrospun nanofibers for wound healing. A group of researchers from the National University of Singapore published an interseting paper in Bioactive and Biocompatible Polymers on gelatin/PLLCL composite nanofibers prepared with fibroblasts that have shown to accelerate wound closure significantly within 10 days following implantation.