Oct 4, 2016 | By Alec

The Dutch city of Utrecht is well known in 3D bioprinting circles, largely thanks to the fantastic efforts of the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht’s Biofabrication Facility. Through a collaboration with Swiss company regenHU, researchers from that facility have now moved one step closer to 3D printed organs, as they have jointly developed a melt electrospinning device that increases the accuracy of 3D bioprinting and resultant the tissue structures.

This is not the first 3D bioprinting success of the UMC Utrecht Biofabrication Facility, which was founded back in 2013 and provides a unique environment for 3D tissue development. Back in April, this tissue factory run by associate professor Jos Malda completed a test with a 3D bioprinted rabbit shoulder implant. In August this year, the MC Utrecht and several local partners also launched the separate Utrecht3DMedical lab to pioneer further 3D bioprinting breakthroughs.

The facility also regularly works with other partners, both Dutch and international, through the Utrecht Life Sciences (ULS) innovation network. RegenHU is the perfect partner for developing new bio-systems, as this Swiss company specializes in tackling various hardware challenges faced by the biomanufacturing industry. They have previously also pioneered several 3D bioprinting systems.

For this particular project, the 3D bioprinting and biomanufacturing experts joined forced to develop the first melt electrospinning device that incorporates bio-inks. It is intended to be a solution for the classic 3D bioprinting challenge: creating a sustainable environment in which cell material can live and grow. Melt electrospinning technology does exactly this by producing ultrafine and durable fibers, arranged in a pre-defined mesh structure. The cells are subsequently 3D printed into the mesh, forming tissue structures over time that can be used for drug testing and even implants. The machine is currently housed in the Utrecht Biofabrication Facility.

As Malda explained, it is already producing more accurate scaffolding than previous methods. “This new device allows us to build complex tissue constructs with high precision, that are mechanically more stable,” Malda explained. “regenHU has a legacy of experience in machine building and this partnership offers strong support for the biofabrication field.”

The device will initially be used during various tests with bio-inks, in an attempt to optimize the integration of the two systems. The current goal is the generation of composite materials and the ability to determine the performance of the cells that are packed into the bio-inks. Thanks to the fiber strength and breadth, the Utrecht researchers will hopefully become able to build structures that more closely resemble the hugely complex human tissues. That would be a huge step towards 3D printed drug testing models and regenerative implants.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



Maybe you also like:


Kenny Killkenny wrote at 10/6/2016 9:27:42 AM:

Wow, that guy Jos Malda of UMC Utrecht fame, look exactly like a James Bond villain.

Jakethewhistler wrote at 10/5/2016 12:41:36 PM:

I work in bioprinting, but I have to admit that I have never heard of Utrecht. I always thought that Holland was only known for Amsterdam and all the stuff that goes on there.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive