Researchers create bioink that delivers oxygen to 3D printed tissue cells

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Tissue engineering or regeneration is the process of improving upon or replacing biological tissues by combining cells and other materials with the optimal chemical and physiological conditions in order to build scaffolds upon which new viable tissue can form. We’ve seen many examples of 3D printing being used to accomplish this task. The potential to engineer new tissues this way provides an answer to organ transplant shortages and applications in drug discovery.

However, to become viable tissues, these cells need oxygen delivered to them via blood vessels, which, in transplanted tissue, can take several days to grow. But a collaborative group of researchers is working on a solution: an oxygen-releasing bioink that can deliver this all-important element to the cells in 3D bioprinted tissues. This allows the cells to survive while they’re waiting for blood vessels to finish growing.

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Cryogenic 3Dprinting improves bioprinting for bone regeneration

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Researchers from China continue in the quest to improve methods for bone regeneration, publishing their findings in “Cryogenic 3D printing of dual-delivery scaffolds for improved bone regeneration with enhanced vascularization.”

A wide range of projects have emerged regarding new techniques for bone regeneration—especially in the last five years as 3D printing has become more entrenched in the mainstream and bioprinting has continued to evolve. Bone regeneration is consistently challenging, and while bioprinting is still relatively new as a field, much impressive progress has been made due to experimentation with new materials, nanotubes, and innovative structures.

Cell viability is usually the biggest problem. Tissue engineering, while becoming much more successful these days, is still an extremely delicate process as cells must not only be grown but sustained in the lab too. For this reason, scientists are always working to improve structures like scaffolds, as they are responsible in most cases for supporting the cells being printed. In this study, the authors emphasize the need for both “excellent osteogenesis and vascularization” in bone regeneration.

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3D printing a meatless world: Self-medication with 3D printed food

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As we’ve seen previously in this series, 3D printing could have a significant impact on the burgeoning meatless meat industry. Moreover, everything is surimi is everything, and everything is surimi. These two claims of mine could have a substantial effect on 3D printing as an industry and our world in general, if they turn out to have substance.

We are however, in the initial stages of a food revolution. The bigger picture sees the Industrial Revolution (which created the current food system of supermarkets, chains, and brands), the Green Revolution (which expanded agricultural production in the 1950’s), bioindustry development (which saw the dawn of AFOs, hormones in meat, caged chickens in their millions, etc.) be joined by another paradigm shift in food production: Lab Food.

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New silicone 3D printing opens up applications for robotics, medicine, wearables

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The fabrication of soft devices is evolving further, with the completion of recent research performed by US scientists. With the results published in “3D printable tough silicone double networks,” the authors explain how soft materials can be fabricated with micron resolution for complex systems like robotics, as well as new types of wearables.

Soft materials are produced industrially for many applications, with soft matter deployed for shock absorption, conformal requirements, energy recapture and robotics, where devices must be able to deform. Cross-linked materials like silicone rubbers (more formally known as poly(dimethylsiloxanes)) are popular for use due to strong mechanical properties, and temperature and chemical resistance. Most methods for using such materials with traditional techniques like injection molding are extremely limited though, and only suitable for creating basic geometries.

Previous research has shown success with liquid silicone rubber material for 3D printing ink, yielding more complex shapes. Challenges have been noted, however, in terms of structures being printed with overhangs, as well as those with a “high aspect ratio structure,” due to lack of stability like “slumping” before curing. Other experimental techniques have resulted in a lack of resolution, inferior mechanical properties, or slower printing speed.

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Robot skin 3D printer close to first-in-human clinical trials

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In just two years a robotic device that prints a patient’s own skin cells directly onto a burn or wound could have its first-in-human clinical trials. The 3D bioprinting system for intraoperative skin regeneration developed by Australian biotech start-up Inventia Life Science has gained new momentum thanks to major investments from the Australian government and two powerful new partners, world-renowned burns expert Fiona Wood and leading bioprinting researcher Gordon Wallace.

Codenamed Ligō from the Latin “to bind”, the system is expected to revolutionize wound repairs by delivering multiple cell types and biomaterials rapidly and precisely, creating a new layer of skin where it has been damaged. The novel system is slated to replace current wound healing methods that simply attempt to repair the skin, and is being developed by Inventia Skin, a subsidiary of Inventia Life Science.

“When we started Inventia Life Science, our vision was to create a technology platform with the potential to bring enormous benefit to human health. We are pleased to see how fast that vision is progressing alongside our fantastic collaborators. This Federal Government support will definitely help us accelerate even faster,” said Dr. Julio Ribeiro, CEO, and co-founder of Inventia.

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Scientists develop nanophotonic 3D printing for virtual reality screens

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In Korea, scientists are turning to better ways for improving our screen time, and this means 3D printing something most of us know little about: quantum dots. Focusing on refining the wonders of virtual reality and other electronic displays even further, researchers from the Nano Hybrid Technology Research Center of Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI), a government-funded research institute under National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST) of the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), have created nanophotonic 3D printing technology for screens. Meant to be used with virtual reality, as well as TVs, smartphones, and wearables, high resolution is achieved due to a 3D layout expanding the density and quality of the pixels.

Led by Dr. Jaeyeon Pyo and Dr. Seung Kwon Seol, the team has published the results of their research and development in “3D-Printed Quantum Dot Nanopixels.” While pixels are produced to represent data in many electronics, conventionally they are created with 2D patterning. To overcome limitations in brightness and resolution, the scientists elevated this previously strained technology to the next level with 3D printed quantum dots to be contained within polymer nanowires.

Powered by light or electricity, dots light up in an array of colors which then translate into the appropriate display. Usually, pixels are covered in a light film for creating a better display, with the ability to see images more clearly; in this research though, the KERI scientists decided to eliminate the film coating in place of a 3D structure, featuring pixels with a lateral dimension of 620nm and 10,000nm in height.

“The 3D structure enabled a 2-fold increase in brightness without significant effects on the spatial resolution of the pixels,” explained the researchers in their abstract. “In addition, we demonstrate individual control of the brightness based on a simple adjustment of the height of the 3D pixels.”

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KFC is working with a Russian 3D bioprinting firm to try to make lab-produced chicken nuggets

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The restaurant chain says it’s the meat of the future

KFC is trying to create the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets, part of its “restaurant of the future” concept, the company announced. The chicken restaurant chain will work with Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to develop bioprinting technology that will “print” chicken meat, using chicken cells and plant material.

KFC plans to provide the bioprinting firm with ingredients like breading and spices “to achieve the signature KFC taste” and will seek to replicate the taste and texture of genuine chicken.

It’s worth noting that the bioprinting process KFC describes uses animal material, so any nuggets it produced wouldn’t be vegetarian. KFC does offer a vegetarian option at some of its restaurants; last year it became the first US fast-food chain to test out Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken product, which it plans to roll out to more of its locations this summer.

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Europe’s biggest 3D printer helps create an entire two-story house

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While 3D printing might be most commonly used to print smaller-sized models or prototypes, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be used to print larger objects. Much, much larger. In Belgium, Europe’s largest 3D printer was recently used to print an entire house. Unlike other 3D-printed houses we’ve covered (of which there are a handful), this one has two floors — making it one of the biggest and most ambitious 3D-printed housing projects we’ve seen.

“[We used a] gantry printer delivered by COBOD [based in Denmark],” Emiel Ascione, project manager at Kamp C, the firm behind the project, told Digital Trends. “It was their prototype BOD2 [printer]. A gantry printer operates basically like the most common small plastic printers and uses the same type of software, [but on a much larger scale]. The concrete, the silo, as well as the mixing and pumping installation. were delivered by our partner Weber.”

The enormous gantry printer, measuring 32 feet x 32 feet, was used to print the shell of the house. Additional features such as the roof and windows were then added the old-fashioned way. It boasts numerous innovative sustainable features, including solar panels and underfloor heating.

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This 3D printed house reduces carbon emissions and takes 48 hours to build!

The construction industry contributes to 39% of global carbon emissions while aviation contributes to only 2% which means we need to look for alternative building materials if we are to make a big impact on the climate crisis soon. We’ve seen buildings being made using mushrooms, bricks made from recycled plastic and sand waste, organic concrete, and now are seeing another innovative solution – a floating 3D printed house!

Prvok is the name of this project and it will be the first 3D printed house in the Czech Republic built by Michal Trpak, a sculptor, and Stavebni Sporitelna Ceske Sporitelny who is a notable member of the Erste building society. The house is designed to float and only takes 48 hours to build! Not only is that seven times faster than traditional houses, but it also reduces construction costs by 50%. No bricks, cement, and concrete (responsible for 8% of CO2 emissions alone!) are used which means it reduces carbon emissions by 20% – imagine how much CO2 could be reduced if this was used to build a colony. A robotic arm called Scoolpt designed by Jiri Vele, an architect and programmer, will be used in 3D printing and can print as fast as 15 cm per second.

 

The 43 square meter home will have all the essentials – a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom. It will be anchored on a pontoon and is designed in a way that owners can live in it all year round. Prvok is partially self-sufficient and is equipped with eco-technologies that enable it to recirculate shower water, use a green roof, and host reservoirs for utility, drinking, and sewage water. Each detail and element of the house has been thoughtfully added after making sure it can last for 100 years in any environment. Prvok is an example of what the future of hybrid houses that work for you and the environment could look like.

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3D-Printed Homes: The concept is now turning into something solid

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Homes of the future, made through 3-D printing

In a Northeast Austin neighborhood, new 3-D-printed homes are taking their distinctive shape on the grounds of the Community First Village, where about 180 formerly homeless people have found shelter and camaraderie in the most expensive city in Texas. (Regan Morton Photography)

AUSTIN — Tim Shea is counting the days until he can move into a new 3-D-printed house. Shea, 69, will be the first to live in one of six such rentals created by what some in the housing industry call a futuristic approach that could revolutionize home construction.

Shea is among a growing number of seniors in America who have struggled to keep affordable housing. He has, at times, been homeless. He has arthritis and manages to get around with the aid of a walker. He said he looks forward to giving up the steep ramp he’s had to negotiate when entering or exiting the RV he’s called home.

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3D Printing humans: A quick review of 3D Bioprinters

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It was only a matter of time before the iconic scene from 1997’s The Fifth Element became a reality. In the film Milla Jovovich’s character, Leeloo, is entirely rebuilt using her dead hand as a template. The resurrection is performed by a surgical robot that collects slices of heterogeneous tissue, generated from a yellow bio-ink, and places them rapidly in sequence, followed by the addition of softer tissues via long red fibres.

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