Aug 6, 2016 | By Benedict

A number of Japanese research institutions have adopted 3D bioprinting techniques to produce 3D printed blood vessels and other complex tissues. Saga University has used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to 3D print blood vessels, while Kyoto University has developed tissue for nerve regeneration.

3D bioprinting represents an important area of medical research, with scientists predicting that printed human organs could be used both for pharmaceutical experiments and for human transplants, potentially saving countless human lives. The government of Japan is particularly optimistic in its goals for 3D bioprinting, having predicted that 3D printed Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could be used to treat heart disease and other diseases as soon as the year 2020.

While iPSCs are already used to treat incurable eye diseases, medical researchers believe that the genetically reprogrammed cells could someday be used to treat heart failure and spinal cord injury, as well as other ailments. By 3D printing iPSCs in long, tubelike structures, scientists have the ability to create blood vessels and internal organs for transplantation. However, maintaining a precise structure after 3D printing can be difficult. Because of this, some researchers have tried using resins to support the 3D printed cells, but researchers at Saga University have turned to a different method.

3D bioprinted tissue

The 3D bioprinting method in question is Cyfuse Medical’s Kenzan Method, a unique form of bioprinting which, rather than use a bioink to keep cells in place, uses tiny vertical spikes on which cell clusters (spheroids) are skewered and kept in position, column by column. A research team led by Saga University’s Professor Shigeki Morita has used the Kenzan Method to create tubular 3D printed blood vessel structures, 2 cm by 5 mm. When these tubular structures have formed on the skewers, a special broth is added which enables the cells to develop and the blood vessels to form.

The Saga University scientists believe that their 3D bioprinting method could help to treat patients recovering from myocardial infarctions, better known as heart attacks. At present, doctors can treat such patients by removing damaged blood vessels and replacing them with healthy ones from elsewhere in the body. This approach, however, can be a burden for the body, and the likelihood of a repeat blockage is high. In order to advance its research on myocardial infarction treatment and other ailments, the researchers plan to conduct vascular transplantation experiments on pigs in the near future.

Cyfuse Medical's "Kenzan Method"

Another Japanese research team, this time led by Ryosuke Ikeguchi, an Associate Professor at Kyoto University, has been using similar technology to create 3D printed tissue which could develop into human skin. To test its capability to do so, the team has been creating 8 mm by 3mm tubular structures and grafting them to live mice. Although at first the transplant renders the mice unable to function properly, the researchers have reported that, after eight weeks, nerves inside the tube began to connect with those of the mice, enabling the mice to walk again. The success of the experiment proved that the 3D bioprinted structures could be used to promote nerve regeneration.

According to the researchers, this 3D bioprinting technology could be used in clinical research in as little as three years.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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andrew golden wrote at 8/18/2016 7:37:00 PM:

so as the tec progrese is enabeling for to soon be abel to crate a humen brain



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