EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Spring 2014

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emdt.co.uk European Medical Device Technology Spring 2014 | 29 explore the potentials of additive manufac- turing techniques for processing of bioma- terials. Several projects have managed to create something that looks like an organ, but of course still lacked inner functional- ity. Researchers demonstrated, for exam- ple, the assembly of a kidney-shaped jelly using 3-D printing, which would not work like a kidney as it didn't have working cells or blood vessels," explains Kirsten Borch- ers, who works on bioinks for bioprinting at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology in Stutt- gart. "We currently can't build bigger con- structs with viable cells because we can't sustain them. For that, a system of blood vessels is needed, through which the tissue can be provided with nutrients. We need to integrate channel structures and we can achieve that with the help of computer- controlled additive fabrication techniques." Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Insti- tute for Biologically Inspired Engineering recently took a major step forward in addressing this challenge. The research team, led by Jennifer Lewis, developed a special bioink that melts as temperature falls. The researchers then used this ink to integrate a network of small channels into printed tissue. When the scientists cooled down the patch, the material liquefied and could be sucked out, which resulted in a system of tiny tubes resembling blood ves- sels. "This is the foundational step toward creating 3-D living tissue," according to Lewis. "Tissue engineers have been waiting for a method like this," says Don Ingber, founding director of the Wyss Institute. "The ability to form functional vascular networks in 3-D tissues before they are implanted not only enables thicker tissues to be formed, it also raises the possibility of surgically connecting these networks to the natural vasculature to promote immediate perfusion of the implanted tissue, which should greatly increase their engraftment and survival." Berlin-based university hospital Charité cooperates with the Wyss Institute to find applications for bioprinting in medicine. "Every living cell exists in a biological environment," explains Georg Duda, pro- fessor at the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies at the hospital. "It interacts with the cell membrane of a neighboring cell. Cell and membrane are affecting each other. When you recombine the cells through printing, there are con- sequences on both sides." In order to print sustainable tissue, he adds, researchers first need to fully understand the reciproc- ity between the cells. Another important question will be: From where will the physicians harvest the cells? If an organ is affected with a disease, it's no longer a viable candidate. Acceler- ated growth of stem cells or reprogrammed cells might bear the risk of producing cancerous material, according to Duda. The Future of Bioprinting Despite these challenges, Duda is con- vinced that bioprinting has enormous potential for life sciences. But in his view, realistic applications for the near future are not artificial organs; instead, he sees more accessible opportunities in diagnos- tics and pharmaceutical testing. "You can, for example, build microorganisms out of a patient's body cells and conduct tests on these organ systems to predict how a patient will react to certain disease states or treatments," he says. "Instead of testing a new drug on animals or patients, you could use these artificial systems." To that end, bioprinting pioneer Organovo plans to commercially launch its 3D Liver tissue product, aimed at research applications, by the end of this year. According to the California-based com- pany, the properties of its tissue product are in many respects comparable to liver tissue, making it suitable for use in pre- clinical research services. The material is currently undergoing testing by an inde- pendent laboratory in order to verify the company's claim. The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Cent- er's Institute for Regenerative Medicine has received $24 million from the U.S. mili- tary to develop a "body on a chip." The researchers will use a 3-D printer to create a model system of human organs in order www.sensofar.com/qsix 2D high-resolution imaging Measurement of the geometry of stents (CD). Defect detection and classifcaction. 3D optical modes Surface topography Roughness Thickness of coatings New system for assisted inspection of stents FIND US Medtec 2014 | Booth 7C54 ES430883_EMDT1405_029.pgs 04.29.2014 03:33 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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