allevi applications

Allevi Author: 3D‐Printed Sugar Stents to Aid in Surgery

Microvascular anastomosis (or the method of surgically connecting blood vessels) is a common part of many reconstructive and transplant surgical procedures.

There are multiple methods for connecting two veins together including coupling devices, surgical glue, and surgical suturing but each method has it’s downsides; coupling devices can face rejection from the body, glue can introduce contamination or clotting to the vein, and suturing (the most commonly accepted practice) is a delicate and time consuming procedure.

 
suturing blood vessels
 

During the suturing procedure, surgeons are in a race against the clock to quickly connect the veins together to ensure that organs continue to receive proper blood flow. However, blood vessels of differing shapes and sizes can sometimes make this procedure difficult to maneuver in a timely fashion.

 
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In their recent paper titled, “3D‐Printed Sugar‐Based Stents Facilitating Vascular Anastomosis”, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital & The University of Nebraska Lincoln collaborated using an Allevi 2 bioprinter to find a solution to aid in the intricacies surrounding this procedure.

Here, dissolvable sugar‐based stents are 3D printed as an assistive tool for facilitating surgical anastomosis. The non-brittle sugar‐based stent holds the vessels together during the procedure and are dissolved upon the restoration of the blood flow. The incorporation of sodium citrate minimizes the chance of thrombosis, and the dissolution rate of the sugar‐based stent can be tailored between 4 and 8 min.

 
allevi 2 3d bioprinter fabricates sugar stents to aid in surgical procedure
 

3D printing is an ideal method for constructing these stents because you are able to quickly design and create custom geometries to fit the patient’s vessels.

The effectiveness of the printed sugar‐based stent was assessed ex vivo and found to be a fast and reliable fabrication method that can be performed in the operating room.

This new method of aiding surgeons is a game-changer as it is dissolvable, tunable, and completely customizable. In the future, your doctor could quickly print out stents to match your exact vein geometry which would reduce the time spent on the operating table and under anesthesia.

Interested in learning more about this novel technique? You can read the full paper here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adhm.201800702?af=R&

Allevi Author: Tohoku University Images Cell Activity in Hyrdrogels

tohoku university allevi bioprinter bioprinted hydrogel imaging

One of the most rewarding “AHA” moments of bioprinting is seeing your cells proliferate within a 3D tissue. As 3D bioprinting becomes more widely adopted within the fields of tissue engineering and personalized medicine, it is important that researchers have the ability to monitor cell activity within in a 3D structure AFTER the print is finished.

Our most recent Allevi Authors have tackled the method of electrochemically monitoring a tissue in their new paper out in the Analytical Sciences Journal titled, “Electrochemical Imaging of Cell Activity in Hydrogels Embedded in Grid-Shaped Polycaprolactone Scaffolds Using a Large-scale Integration (LSI)-based Amperometric Device”.

In their paper, researchers from Tohoku University in Japan use their Allevi 2 bioprinter to print PCL scaffolds as a support material for photocured hydrogels. They then used an amperometric device to electrochemically monitor the living cells. Through their study, they were able to determine that electrochemical imaging is a great way to monitor cell differentiation and will be useful for evaluating the viability of thicker bioprinted tissues.

Congratulations to the Tohoku University researchers on their findings!

Allevi Now Available Through VWR

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Here at Allevi, we are constantly working to make our bioprinters and bioinks accessible to scientists worldwide.  Our mission is to get Allevi 3D bioprinters into the best research labs where they can accelerate the pace of discovery and push the boundaries of biology. That's why today we're excited to announce that you can now shop Allevi products on the world's leading life science equipment distributor; VWR International. 

Now it’s easier than ever to get an Allevi bioprinter into your lab and begin changing the world. Join us.

Bioprinting offers hope of new treatment paths for cancer patients

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Our amazing users at The University of Waikato will use their Allevi 2 to research new treatment paths for cancer patients that could eventually lead to cancer tumors being treated outside patients' bodies.

We are constantly inspired by this amazing community of scientists who are changing the way we design, heal and build with life. And we're here to support them along the way! Read on to learn more about this incredible research.

Allevi Author: UPenn bioprints custom nasal defects

Allevi 2 bioprinter bioprints nasal bone nose cartilage

We're proud to bring you yet another #AlleviAuthor - this one from down the street at University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Chamith Rajapakse's Lab at UPenn focuses on the development and application of image guided 3D bioprinting for personalized clinical applications.

In his most recent publication, Dr. Rajapakse bioprinted a scaffold that precisely matched a patient’s nasal septal defect, in both size and shape using the Allevi 2 bioprinter. This serves as the first step in a major goal to create patient-specific tissue engineered grafts for NSP repair and beyond.

Here at Allevi, we envision a future of truly personalized medicine. The research by Dr. Rajapakse and his lab brings this future that much closer within the bone, cartilage and muscle tissue types.  One can being to imagine the future of being able to reconstruct cleft palates, nasal septal perforations, broken bones, torn ligaments, vertebrae and so much more.

Read on for the abstract and check out the full publication here.

Abstract: Nasal septal perforations (NSPs) are relatively common. They can be problematic for both patients and head and neck reconstructive surgeons who attempt to repair them. Often, this repair is made using an interpositional graft sandwiched between bilateral mucoperichondrial advancement flaps. The ideal graft is nasal septal cartilage. However, many patients with NSP lack sufficient septal cartilage to harvest. Harvesting other sources of autologous cartilage grafts, such as auricular cartilage, adds morbidity to the surgical case and results in a graft that lacks the ideal qualities required to repair the nasal septum. Tissue engineering has allowed for new reconstructive protocols to be developed. Currently, the authors are unaware of any new literature that looks to improve repair of NSP using custom tissue-engineered cartilage grafts. The first step of this process involves developing a protocol to print the graft from a patient's pre-operative CT.

In this study, CT scans were converted into STereoLithography (STL) file format. The subsequent STL files were transformed into 3D printable G-Code using the Slic3r software. This allowed us to customize the parameters of our print and we were able to choose a layer thickness of 0.1mm.  A desktop 3D bioprinter (Allevi 2) was then used to construct the scaffold.

This method resulted in the production of a PCL scaffold that precisely matched the patient’s nasal septal defect, in both size and shape. This serves as the first step in our goal to create patient-specific tissue engineered nasal septal cartilage grafts for NSP repair.