Skip to comments.Muscle and bone from an ink-jet printer
Posted on 03/03/2007 7:13:24 PM PST by Coleus
Printed 'bio-inks' can pattern multiple cell lineages from a single adult stem cell population A Pittsburgh-based research team has used an innovative inkjet system to print unique "bio-ink" patterns that directed adult muscle-derived stem cells from mice to differentiate into both muscle cells and bone cells. This is the first report of a system that can pattern the formation of multiple tissues from a single population of adult stem cells.
Bioengineers from Carnegie Mellon Universitys Robotics Institute and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems teamed with stem cell biologists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh to demonstrate the use of ink-jet printing to pattern bio-inks"combinations of growth factors to control the fate of stem cells. Working with mice, the Pittsburgh biologists have gained considerable experience in using growth factors to control proliferation and differentiation in populations of muscle-derived stem cells, or MDSCs. Previous work by University of Pittsburgh researchers has demonstrated the ability of MDSCs to repair muscle in a model for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, improve cardiac function following heart failure, and heal large bone defects in the skull. Controlling not only what types of cells differentiate from stem cells, but also gaining spatial control of stem cell differentiation, are important capabilities if researchers are to engineer replacement tissues that might be used in treating disease, trauma, or genetic abnormalities. Spatial patterning of stem cell differentiation through delivery of bio-inks with an ink-jet printer will offer the Pittsburgh researchers a whole new level of complexity and control.
The custom built ink-jet printer, which was developed at Carnegie Mellon, can deposit bio-inks in virtually any design, pattern, or concentration, laying down patterns on fibrin-coated slides placed in culture dishes containing MDSCs. Based on pattern, dose, or factor printed by the ink-jet, the MDSCs could be directed when to differentiate into various cell types (e.g., bone- or muscle-like). Immunocytochemical analyses confirmed that the bio-ink patterns successfully directed differentiation of the MDSCs toward a myogenic or an osteogenic lineage in direct registration to patterns.
The proof-of-concept experiment led to the formation of muscle- and bone-like tissues simultaneously in the same culture dish. The long-term promise of this new technology could be the tailoring of tissue-engineered regenerative therapies. In preparation for preclinical studies, the Pittsburgh researchers are following up this work by combining the versatile ink-jet system with advanced live cell imaging developed at Carnegie Mellons Robotics Institute and Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center to further understand how stem cells differentiate into bone, muscle, or other cell types.
HP Skin Jet...
bump & a stem cell ping
It gets tougher and tougher for an erstwhile science fiction writer to stay ahead of the curve.
I had thought "ink-jet" printers would first be used to manufacture food items in the Star Trek fashion.
But this is good. I can use it.
It doesn't seem like an inkjet can print small enough to get down to the cellular level. Even if it can, can it get down to the mitochondria level?
In Bob's world, definitely.
You'd need true nano-assemblers to do sub-cellular work. The ink-jet printer pulses out whole cells, laying them down in a computer controlled pattern.
I've seen film where a heart valve was produced on a dissolvable scaffold.
Picture tiny reservoirs or tubes leading to such reservoirs, isolated within the inkjet cartridge as colors usually are. Theoretically, one could lay down muscle, fat, bone, or blood vessel cells in specified patterns.
What it would take to scale this up to the ability to manufacture an organ is an exercise for the imagination.
My imagination says it may have to be done in a supportive oxygenated saline solution to keep the first layers alive while the rest of the structure is developed.
I wonder, Bob, isn't there a 3D fabricator copier now, and could the matrices be stratified to lay down varying lines of cells in layer upon layer as the 3D construct occurs? ... BTW, I'm using an already existing fluid and technology for 'oxygenation' in Evil Interrupted.
The current technology for three-D reproduction is a tank of light-activated plastic. You expose the surface of the liquid to ultraviolet light which hardens the liquid, then you lower the surface, allowing more liquid to cover the freshly hardened suface, and expose that to a fresh layer of ultraviloet light patterning.
Over time, you have produced a three-dimensional reproduction of whatever was in the computer's memory.
The next step to take is to be able to print the colonizing cells into a nourishing three-dimensional structure, complete with its own blood flow and skeletal integrity.
Who wants to be first to have a head transplant?
(Just kidding -- the above would not allow for reproducing the structure of memory and interneural connections. It might suffice for some cruder substructures, however.)
We need to sit down for a series of lunches and chew over a few futurist notions!
It's a long drive. Do you have beer?
I've got a level spot you can park it. The electric is easy enough. We'd have to play with the computer connection.
How long do you want to stay?
I have a laptop with wireless, if that helps with the computer situation. I use the systems in the air around college libraries when I'm traveling.
The Aspect is only 24 feet long with a slide for the dining area. Nice compact travel facilities. My electric cord is thirty feet long and I have an extension I use when parked at home or at my son's home in AL. Works the furnace, lights, a coffee pot, and fridge.
We have three dogs and one cat. We are not cat-unfriendly, although the dogs are.
Why not travel with the cats? We've done that. The cat hates travel, but likes new places.
My wireless router will probably work for you, otherwise we'd need to run a cable. You'd be parked with the cockpit facing South. Nice location.
We'll freepmail to work out the particulars if your wife doesn't mind the intrusion, but it sounds like a good thing to do when I get the property thing dealt with in Alabama.
You have freepmail coming ...
--Zeroth Genisis II:IV