Meet Allevi 3: The bioprinter for every application.

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Have you noticed? Exciting things are happening in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Since our humble beginnings, the Allevi community has grown to labs in all corners of the globe and includes the world’s best scientists and pharmaceutical innovators. And your work is having an impact.

With every new #AlleviAuthor paper that gets published, our incredible community wows us with yet another mind-blowing application. Whether you are creating personalized bone grafts, printing tumor models for better drug testing, or studying the dynamics of the vasculature system - we provided you a tool and you have amazed us with what you have accomplished with it.

Today, we’re excited to announce the newest addition to the Allevi family of 3D bioprinters that was inspired by your work - the Allevi 3. The Allevi 3 is easy to use, extremely versatile, and yet still incredibly powerful. Check out the bioprinter that can bring your work to life. What will you build?

Allevi Author: Review of Bone Biofabrication Methods & Bioinks

In the USA alone, 500,000 bone grafting procedures are performed annually, with musculoskeletal-related disabilities costing about $240 billion each year. In spite of the advancements over the past 20 years, scientists and engineers have been unable to provide a material that fulfills every characteristic needed for bone tissue to be physiologically relevant in clinical applications.

In this edition of the #AlleviAuthor series, our very own Director of Bioengineering, Taci Pereira, reviews state of the art bone tissue biofabrication technologies for the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine.

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Pereira examines the six essential characteristics of bone graft materials; osteoinduction, osteoconduction, osteointegration, biocompatibility, translatability, and growth factor necessity.  

In addition to reviewing bioinks for bone engineering, Pereira examines the different techniques that have emerged within the biofabrication field; 3D bioprinting, selective laser sintering (SLS), electrospinning and stereolithography.

Read on below to learn about the promising methods for bone engineering, where Pereira sees a need for innovation and why she is excited for the future of Hyperelastic Bone.

State of the art biofabrication technologies and materials for bone tissue engineering


Hyperelastic Bone Now Available on the Allevi Platform

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Providing Researchers with the Ability to Study, Repair and Regenerate Bone

It has been long in coming but the idea of regenerating organs is beginning to take rise.  Skin has been one of the most prevalent simple organs which humanity has seen the benefits of regeneration.  Scientists have wondered what would be next; as to which organ humans might begin to engineer the regenerative ability, and bone might be the answer.

Today, we announce the release of Dimension Inx LLC's advanced Hyperelastic Bone™ 3D-Paint, which will allow researchers around the world to begin testing hard tissue repair and regeneration in the lab. While its applications for human use are still under investigation, the research grade Hyperelastic Bone™ material described and published in Science Translation Medicine by Drs. Ramille Shah and Adam Jakus in 2016, is now accessible to researchers through our easy to use Hyperelastic Bone™ Kit.

By understanding the specific defect size, through either MRI or CT, and combining  3D printing with the correct, advanced biomaterial, a surgeon could one day make a 3D printed structure in the shape of the patient’s bone void and implant that structure,  ultimately resulting in repaired and regenerated, natural bone. This would prove to have tremendous therapeutic benefit over traditional methods that either don’t provide regeneration or can’t be personalized.

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With the Hyperelastic Bone™ kit researchers can begin taking bone modeling and engineering to the next level.  Dr. Adam Jakus, one of the creators of Hyperelastic Bone™ and Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Dimension Inx, notes that “Hyperelastic Bone™ offers several unique advantages over existing hard tissue biomaterials, 3D printed or not. For starters, it is made up of 90 wt.% hydroxyapatite, the same mineral found in teeth and bones. But, despite being mostly mineral, it remains flexible, making it very user friendly. Its user friendliness combined with its bioactivity make Hyperelastic Bone™ an excellent hard tissue biomaterial.”

Hyperelastic Bone™ 3D-Paint can be 3D printed into user defined structures and handled immediately after being 3D printed. The 3D printed materials and structures can then be cut, folded, rolled, punched, and more as the user the desires. Being comprised mostly of hydroxyapatite, Hyperelastic Bone™ is an excellent material choice for hard tissue related modeling, basic science, and engineering research. 

The ease of use of the Hyperelastic Bone™ kit it also key to providing wide spread adoption and testing. Taciana Pereira, Bioengineer and Tissue Kit Specialist here at Allevi, stated “we have tirelessly worked to provide an experience that is repeatable and achievable by scientists with no 3D bioprinting experience.” The kit brings all the components necessary to 3D print and test the bone material using Allevi’s 3D printers.

Using 3D Bioprinting to Create Bone

Imagine being able to print bone. Things like jawbone surgery, healing fractures, and treating bone diseases would be revolutionized. Well, a future in which doctors and researchers regularly bioprint bone may not be so far off.

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In 2013, researchers at the University of Nottingham in England devised a method to create custom fitted bone replacements using the power of stem cells and bioprinting. The idea is fairly simple: researchers used a 3D bioprinter to create a biochemical scaffold in the shape of their desired bone, and then planted stem cells onto it. These stem cells, through the influence of specific chemical growth factors, were guided into becoming bone. Eventually, as the cells grew and proliferated, the scaffold was populated with bone cells.

This printed product could then be implanted into a patient. Upon implantation, the scaffold—made from biocompatible alginate and polylactic acid—would dissolve, leaving only the new bone within about 3 months.

Clearly, there are a lot of advantages to this approach. For starters, bone replacements can be made to fit the patient exactly. This also reduces the need for bone donors. And lastly, it completely circumvents the problem of host rejection, since the scaffold is ideally seeded with the patient’s own stem cells. 

As always here at Allevi, we’re looking for the cutting edge applications of 3D bioprinting. This research was done back in 2013, and who knows what sort of developments we’ll encounter this year, in 2015!

10 Cools Things You Could Print with a 3D Bioprinter in the Near Future

3D bioprinting is an intuitive way to approach biology. But not many people realize its versatility. To give an idea of what is possible through 3D bioprinting, we’re starting a little series called “Allevi Applications.” Hopefully, this will make the idea of bioprinting a little more accessible! So without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Joint replacements, think knee, ankle and elbow.

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2. Microfluidic chips

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3. Cell scaffolds for replacement organs, eventually making fulling functioning organs

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4. Cartilage

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5. Accurate surgical models for physicians to practice difficult procedures

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6. Drugs with custom release rates, compositions and geometries

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7. Teeth and dental implants

8. Skin grafts for burn victims

9. Casts and bioactive clothing

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10.  Blood vessels, arteries and heart valves

And our users are just getting started. Check back as we cover new publications from #Allevi Authors and see what amazing applications they come up with next.