Researchers from the University of Birmingham have designed a microscopic imaging approach that may help improve drug screening and disease modeling as well as enhance how bio-implants are developed. 3D-printing platforms are utilized in the development of bio-printed structures using a bio-ink made up of materials, biomolecules and cells, which is passed through a tiny tube. While the method is effective, cells may sometimes get damaged as they are moved through the narrow tube.
Through the use of a microscopy technique, the scientists have assessed and found information on how cell damage occurs during the 3D-printing process. The technique, which involves the use of a blade of light that is shone on the material that flows through the tiny tube, could provide a better understanding of cell movement and the flow dynamics of bio-ink. This will allow for research on complex capillary process and designs to be conducted, which will help improve printed constructs and 3D-bioprinting.
The researchers’ findings, which were reported in “Bioprinting,” explain that the imaging method reveals different hydrogel-cell damage and behavior patterns, which change depending on the tube’s properties and the extrusion speed used in the printing process.
Dr. Gowsihan Poologasundarampillai, the co-author of the report, stated that 3D-printing platforms were transforming the manufacturing and research sectors across the globe, before adding that they had used light sheet fluorescence microscopy (“LSFM”) to imitate a part in the extrusion bio-printing process where cells were most likely damaged.
In addition to this, Poologasundarampillai noted that hydrogen flow behavior and printing parameters could determine to which degree cells would be damaged mechanically and asserted that direct observation of the suspended cells and hydrogels in the course of the printing process could help illuminate the conditions that brought about cell necrosis. He then added that the new imaging approach could be used to improve the outcomes of 3D-bio-printing.
Bio-printing allows living materials to be structured mechanically in a layer-by-layer fashion into predefined structures, which can then be utilized to generate in-vitro models of organs and tissues for use in drug screening and disease modeling as well as be used to develop patient-specific devices for implantation. Extrusion-based 3D bio-printing is often utilized in the bio-fabrication community because of its simplicity, precision and high speed.
Furthermore, the scientists noted in their report that while the extrusion method had various benefits, high viscosity hydrogels, large flow rates and smaller diameter capillaries could increase damage to the cells.
This new discovery of the microscopic imaging technology shows just how fast the biomedical sector is identifying new innovations, adding onto what companies such as RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) are doing in the health tech and analytics space.
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