March 22, 2023


Healthy Always

Printing Micro organism to Make Bone-Like Buildings

2 min read

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a technique to 3D print mineralized constructs with slightly serving to hand from micro organism. The method consists of printing a polymer bioink that incorporates micro organism that can produce calcium carbonate when uncovered to a urea resolution. The 2-step course of additionally entails printing a assemble after which exposing it to urea for a number of days, over which era the micro organism naturally mineralize the construction. The strategy permits researchers to accommodate among the limitations of 3D printing, equivalent to move necessities for bioinks, however nonetheless create a inflexible mineralized construction that might pave the way in which for bone implants.

Bioprinting goes from energy to energy, with monumental potential in creating customized tissue implants to deal with a wide range of situations. The printing course of permits researchers to print dwell cells and biocompatible matrix supplies to create a residing assemble. Whereas the method has monumental promise, some tissues are tougher than others to print.

First off, bioinks should adhere to a number of fundamental traits in an effort to be printed successfully. “3D printing is gaining growing significance on the whole, however the variety of supplies that may be 3D printed is restricted for the straightforward purpose that inks should fulfill sure move situations,” stated Esther Amstad, a researcher concerned within the examine. “For instance, they have to behave like a stable when at relaxation, however nonetheless be extrudable by a 3D printing nozzle — kind of like ketchup.”   

This move requirement makes it harder for the ultimate printed product to be inflexible, which is a limitation when printing bone. Up to now, researchers have tried to incorporate small mineral particles throughout the ink, however the ensuing printed constructs have been usually too tender or suffered different mechanical points, together with shrinking and cracking.

“So, we got here up with a easy trick: as a substitute of printing minerals, we printed a polymeric scaffold utilizing our BactoInk, which is then mineralized in a second, separate step,” stated Amstad. “After about 4 days, the mineralization course of triggered by the micro organism within the scaffold results in a last product with a mineral content material of over 90%.”

The micro organism throughout the ink are referred to as Sporosarcina pasteurii and can produce and secrete calcium carbonate when the researchers expose the printed assemble to a urea-containing resolution. Nevertheless, the sturdy constructs might be decontaminated after this mineralization course of by soaking them in ethanol, making certain that the micro organism don’t make it into the affected person.

Research in journal Supplies Right this moment: 3D printing of living structural biocomposites

By way of: EPFL

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