The new Human Bio-inks for 3D biofabrication (HU3DINKS) initiative aims to create bio-inks for 3D bioprinting derived from human tissue. The funding for this project comes from the IraSME initiative, and it aims to promote international collaboration.
Partners from both Belgium and Austria make up the HU3DINKS collaboration. THT Biomaterials (Vienna, Austria) provides expertise in human placenta-derived materials, while BIO INX (Ghent, Belgium) focuses on bio-ink development for several printing methods. Vienna-based companies MorphoMed (medical-grade silk technology) and UpNano (2PP (bio) high-resolution 3D biofabrication) provide complementary services. The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Traumatology works with AUVA to do the biological validation of the novel bio-inks.
Significant performance improvements have been realized, however the technique is still hampered by a lack of effective biological materials. “The HU3DINKS project has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in the field by accurately simulating the human cellular environment in terms of architecture and composition,” stated Markus Lunzer, Materials Specialist at UpNano.
HU3DINKS project aims towards 3D biofabrication
The goal of the HU3DINKS project is to address these restrictions by creating human tissue-based bioinks with optimal performance characteristics for use with various 3D biofabrication, such as extrusion printing and high-resolution laser-based printing. Even while human tissue-derived commercial materials currently exist, they do not function well in terms of bioactivity or 3D printing. Therefore, the goal of the HU3DINKS partnership is to transform commercially accessible materials generated from human tissue into bioinks that can be printed easily.
‘Organ printing’ and the regeneration of human tissues are two potential future uses of 3D biofabrication. Despite the fact that many challenges have to be conquered before these applications can become practical realities, bioprinting technology currently provides answers in the area of animal-free testing. ‘Human 3D inks’ can significantly impact this area, according to Jasper Van Hoorick, CEO of BIO INX.
Because 3D printed human tissue models more closely resemble natural 3D tissues than do those produced using traditional 2D cell culture procedures, they may be used to assess the efficacy of pharmaceuticals and personal care products. The 3R concept, which calls for reducing, replacing, and refining animal usage in scientific research, is consistent with this strategy.
This can be accomplished with the help of high-resolution bioprinting based on 2-photon polymerization (2PP), which is the only technology that allows printing at subcellular resolution and makes it possible to mimic the complex microcellular architecture. Simple drug screening is made possible because this technology is one of the few that permits direct printing within microfluidic chips.
A new technology Bioprinting
The bio-ink ‘Collink.3D 90’ was added to the 3D biofabrication guru CollPlant material inventory last year. The enhanced mechanical qualities of this second rhCollagen-based material set it apart as an ideal choice for 3D printing hard and soft tissues. The ink was also said to speed up cell migration more than any other hydrogels now used in cell culture. CollPlant found this quality in it, and called it a “promising choice” for future research into regenerative medicine.
Brinter, a Finnish 3D biofabrication firm, has partnered with the Kellomäki Lab Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Group at Tampere University to investigate bio-inks for 3D printing to propel “advances in the bioprinting field.” As their first major advance, they figured out how to use gellan gum, a precursor with desirable rheological characteristics in hydrogels, to make a photocrosslinkable bio-ink. The scientists utilized a two-step crosslinking method to turn unprintable gellan gum inks into functional bio-inks, paving the way for the production of 3D printed structures. The group also suggested that the method may be used with other types of bioink.
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