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Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pennsylvania, have used a novel 3D bioprinting method to build functional parts of the human heart.
According to a study published in Science, an advanced version of Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels (FRESH) technology was developed to 3D print collagen for small blood vessels, valves, and beating ventricles.
FRESH - Technology - FluidForm - Startup - Professor
FRESH technology is patented to FluidForm, a Massachusetts-based medical startup. Professor Adam Feinberg, CTO and co-founder, FluidForm, and Principal Investigator at the Regenerative Biomaterials and Therapeutics Group, CMU, said:
“We now have the ability to build constructs that recapitulate key structural, mechanical, and biological properties of native tissues. There are still many challenges to overcome to get us to bioengineered 3D organs, but this research represents a major step forward.”
Trileaflet - Heart - Valve - Collagen - FRESH
Trileaflet heart valve printed using collagen and FRESH technology. Photo via CMU.
A common hurdle in 3D bioprinting is supporting complex structures made from soft materials and proteins, including collagean. FRESH uses a non-newtonian gel as a support material for such items. The properties of the gel allow a needle printhead to move through them as though they were liquid, overcoming the collapse or sagging of soft scaffolds.
Feinberg - CMU - Researchers - Change - FRESH
Feinberg and CMU researchers applied rapid pH change during the FRESH process to drive self-assembly within a buffered support material. Mike Graffeo, CEO of FluidForm, adds, “The FRESH technique developed at CMU enables bioprinting researchers to achieve unprecedented structure, resolution, and fidelity, which will enable a quantum leap forward in...
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