Allevi Author: New platelet-rich bioink boosts healing


New #AlleviAuthor coming at you! 

Platelets are a component of blood that play a crucial role in wound healing: they induce clotting! Remember the last time you nicked yourself with a kitchen knife? The platelets in your blood rushed to the site of the wound and coagulated to staunch the bleeding and start the healing process. But platelets don't stop there - they also release growth factors to help repair the tissue which is why it is increasingly common to mix them with plasma for use in treatment of wound care and post operative procedures. 

Researchers at MIT, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Massachusetts General Hospital used the Allevi #BetaBot to develop a platelet-rich bioink to boost the healing properties of 3D printed tissues and skin grafts.

"In less than a day, the platelet-rich ink had prompted enough cell migration to heal about 50 percent of a scratch on some artificial skin, whereas the platelet-less version had covered just 5 percent of it. The ink also demonstrated the other unique property that platelets can offer, which is its ability to call for ‘reinforcement’ cells. It encouraged more than twice as many mesenchymal stem cells to migrate towards it than the platelet-less version, in a 24-hour period. These stem cells can then develop into muscle, cartilage or bone."  🅰️🅱️🆎🅾️

As the field of 3d bioprinting matures, bioinks like this one will be crucial for organ replacement procedures to help with wound healing and tissue regeneration. 

Their findings were published in Advanced Healthcare Materials.

Allevi Author - Valentine's Edition: 3D Bioprinting Aortic and Cardiac Scaffolds

Allevi bioprinter bioprint aortic and cardiac scaffolds

On this very special Valentine's Day edition of #AlleviAuthor, we'd like to introduce our newest member of the #alleviauthor club whose work studies bioprinting to repair broken heart...valves. Benjamin Stewart, whose thesis was recently presented to the the faculty of the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Denver, studies cardiac tissue specifically for aortic valve repair. 

Stewart's work focuses on 3D bioprinting hydrogels for tissue engineered ascending aorta scaffolds using the AlleviBeta 3D bioprinter. Biocompatible polymers were tested for extrusion mechanics, mechanical and fluid properties, crosslinking dynamics, and degradation properties. Mechanical stretch properties and dynamic performance were tested extensively.

One of the most important aspects of 3D bioprinting is finding the correct biocompatible materials that mimic the mechanical properties of the tissues in your body. Stewart's extensive materials research lays the groundwork for future bioink development for cardiac clinical applications. With the correct bioink, doctors could one day print replacement parts that mechanically perform just like the healthy cardiac tissue in your body. Read on to learn more.

ABSTRACT: The gold standard in 2016 for thoracic aortic grafts is Dacron®, polyethylene terephthalate, due to the durability over time, the low immune response elicited and the propensity for endothelialization of the graft lumen over time. These synthetic grafts provide reliable materials that show remarkable long term patency. Despite the acceptable performance of Dacron® grafts, it is noted that autographs still outperform other types of vascular grafts when available due to recognition of the host’s cells and adaptive mechanical properties of a living graft. 3D bioprinting patient-specific scaffolds for tissue engineering brings the benefits of non-degrading synthetic grafts and autologous grafts together by constructing a synthetic scaffold that supports cell infiltration, adhesion, and development in order to promote the cells to build the native extracellular matrix in response to biochemical and physical cues.

Using the Allevi 3D bioprinter, scaffold materials we tested non-Newtonian photosensitive hydrogel that formed a crosslinked matrix under 365 nm UV light with appropriate water content and mechanical properties for cell infiltration and adhesion to the bioprinted scaffold. Viscometry data on the PEGDA-HPMC 15%-2% w/v hydrogel (non-Newtonian behavior) informed CFD simulation of the extrusion system in order to exact the pressure-flow rate relationship for every hydrogel and geometry combination. Surface tension data and mechanical properties were obtained from material testing and provide content to further characterize each hydrogel and resulting crosslinked scaffold. The goal of this work was to create a basis to build a database of hydrogels with corresponding print settings and resulting mechanical properties.

Read the full thesis here.

User Update: Groundbreaking Research at UMN

Allevi customer, Dr. Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, speaks to the University of Minnesota Health Blog about her ground-breaking research using the Allevi BetaBot Printer. Read on for the full story:

“The print head of a 3-D printer scrolls back and forth with a whir, laying down a line of translucent gel 0.15 millimeters thick. A flash of blue light immediately cures the material, the first of 92 separate layers.

Soon, the outline of a nose appears.

‘A nose this size will take about two hours,’ said Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, PhD, a transplant specialist and the head of the University of Minnesota’s new 3-D Bioprinting Facility.

A three-dimensional life-sized nose is just a showpiece to test the new printer, the only 3-D bioprinter on campus. But Panoskaltsis-Mortari predicts that in just a few years, the facility and a few others around the country will be churning out basic body parts such as ears, skin, or blood vessels for transplantation. Some parts may even be manufactured with a patient’s own cells to avoid rejection by the immune system.

With the ability to print a structure that’s exactly the size and specifications a patient needs, bioprinting has the potential to transform regenerative medicine. ‘It becomes a part of personalized medicine,’ says Panoskaltsis-Mortari.

mortari lab allevi betabot bioprinter research University of Minnesota.jpg

From theoretical to tangible

Bioprinting is just one of the more revolutionary medical applications of burgeoning 3-D printing technology. In the last couple of years, 3-D printing has provided models for teaching and for designing medical devices. It has allowed doctors to better communicate with patients and parents about surgical procedures. And it has replicated natural human systems such as hearts and blood vessels to help doctors evaluate surgical techniques.

Three-dimensional printing, sometimes called additive manufacturing, fabricates objects directly from digital files. Software slices a 3-D image into dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of layers. It then instructs the printer to lay down layer after layer of material, usually some kind of molten plastic or polymer hardened by exposure to ultraviolet light.

University of Minnesota Health Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon Robroy MacIver, MD, MPH, who sees patients at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, 3-D-prints a life-sized heart from his young patient’s MRI or CT scans. Then he can describe to the parents the defect and the surgery he is about to perform.

‘Showing them a CT scan on the screen, you lose a little bit—the size for one thing, how small a vessel is or how small the heart is,’ MacIver said. ‘When you have the actual heart printed, you can show them what you’re talking about. It’s much more tangible.’

Booming with potential

For all the excitement about 3-D printing, the possibility of printing with lifelike organic material, including a patient’s own cells—called bioprinting—is perhaps most novel.

Bioprinting may solve several problems, such as chronic shortages of organs and tissue for implants, and poor genetic matches between donor and patient that lead to tissue rejection.

With 3-D bioprinting, transplantable tissues and simple structures will be made to order and printed on demand, perhaps seeded with the patient’s own cells.

‘Any shape you want, any size you want,’ Panoskaltsis-Mortari said. ‘I’ve been thinking about it for many years, ever since I saw some of the first reports.’

Then a bioprinter fell into her lap. The young founders of Allevi gave printers at deeply discounted prices to 20 research facilities around the world — including Panoskaltsis-Mortari’s lab.

‘They wanted to see what people would come up with,’ she says. ‘It’s a nice strategy. That way, people are free to follow whatever scientific approaches they’re taking.’

Her team is beginning work on 3-D-printed pieces of an artificial esophagus and trachea to sew into an animal such as a pig.

There are still plenty of problems to solve. What kind of biocompatible material will be tough enough to hold sutures? Will it support cell growth? What’s the best way to seed cells on the piece? How thick can a printed part be?

‘Hopefully, we can coax blood vessels to grow into it, to provide nutrients to it,’ Panoskaltsis-Mortari said.

How long before 3-D-printed vessels, tubes, skin, and other simple body parts will be printed and implanted in humans? Just a few years, she predicts. ‘Not long.’”

(Original blog posted here)

Because it's Beautiful: Allevi BetaBot Featured in Museum of Design Atlanta

Why should the things we work with every day not be beautiful? 

At Allevi, we’ve put a lot of thought into the look and feel of our products, as well as their function. We want to build devices that inspire our users to innovate and do things that have never been done. 

We’re changing the look of the lab bench, with the smallest, lightest high-resolution 3D bioprinter on the market. We designed it for you, and all the amazing things you’re going to do with it, and we want it to look as amazing when you’re using it, as when you’re not.

We’re even prouder of our latest design creation: Allevi 2. Sleeker, more refined, with all the features you asked for. Check it out here