-196℃+3D printing, new technology makes biological tissue storage more convenient

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According to a recent paper in the journal "Materials", researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School combined 3D bioprinting with cryopreservation technology to create tissue that can be stored in a freezer at minus 196°C. , and can be defrosted in minutes for immediate use.

A major obstacle to widespread research and clinical application of 3D printed biological tissues is their short shelf life, which can range from hours to days. Like an organ transplant, biological tissue must be transported quickly to where it is needed or it will not survive.

The use of 3D bioprinting technology to create artificial human tissues first appeared 20 years ago. Unlike traditional 3D printing, in bioprinting, the ink usually consists of a gelatin-like scaffold embedded with living cells. Cryobioprinting works on the same principle, except that printing is performed directly on a cold plate with temperatures as low as minus 20°C. After the tissues are printed, they are immediately moved to cryogenic conditions for long-term storage.

Low-temperature printing has the added advantage that it can create more complex shapes than traditional bioprinting methods. "The bioink filaments freeze within milliseconds of reaching the cold plate and do not deform," said lead author Y. Shrek Zhang, a biomedical engineer at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Then we can create layer by layer A self-contained 3D structure.”

The use of low temperatures also removes restrictions on the types of printing inks that can be used. In traditional bioprinting methods, the ink must be viscous to maintain its shape, but most liquids naturally become more viscous at lower temperatures.

Cryopreservatives are essential for cells to survive at low temperatures, preventing osmotic shock and limiting the formation of ice crystals that can damage cell membranes. The researchers this time focused more on finding cryopreservatives that can maintain cell viability to the greatest extent.

They demonstrated that biological tissue could be preserved for at least three months before it came back to life again. "Resurrecting biological tissue is like reviving any type of cryogenically stored cells, by putting them back into a warm medium and thawing them quickly," Zhang said.

To prove that these tissues could retain their original functions, the researchers conducted a series of cell viability assays to demonstrate that the cells could undergo the differentiation process as before.




In the future, 3D biological tissue printing may become a realistic model for testing new drugs or helping patients who need tissue replacement after disease or injury. The ability to freeze bioprinted tissues for long periods of time will allow researchers to further collaborate on developing these applications, with the opportunity to extend their storage for use in preclinical and clinical settings.

At present, Shandong Yinfeng Life Sciences Research Institute has formulated a 3D bioprinting roadmap based on the previously developed allogeneic tissue engineering repair materials with good biocompatibility, and is committed to new bioprinting "inks" using 3D biological Printing technology enables rapid, refined and customized molding of biological scaffolds, providing more accurate personalized repair materials for tissue loss and damage caused by surgery, various diseases and accidents. It has good application prospects as a biological scaffold in the filling and regeneration repair of diabetic foot and various soft tissues.

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