Thursday, 10 November 2016 14:13

Harvard: Multi-material 3D printing Featured

Researchers at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University in Boston have developed a new three-dimensional printing process. Not only tissue is printed on a microchip, but also sensors which are nessessary for examination. Thus, a new microphysiological system was created.

The organ-on-a-chip technology is a promising development connected which the hope to end many animal experiments in toxicology, drug development, but also in questions of basic research in the future. However, manifacture of microchips in particular a complex process.

The scientists have currently developed a printer that not only prints tissues but also sensors using six different "inks". Analyzes and observations of the tissue can be carried out non-invasive over an extended period (4 weeks). Using the sensors embedded in the tissue, contractive stress of the tissue within the incubator can be recorded electronically.

The printed tissue may be derived e.g. from a cardiac patient therefore displaying certain functional impairments. The scientists tested their development with a cardiotoxic substance.

The scientists have published their invention in the journal Nature Materials:
Johan U. Lind, Travis A. Busbee, Alexander D. Valentine et al. (2016): Instrumented cardiac microphysiological devices via multimaterial three-dimensional printing. Nature Materials.