Scientists of the Forecast Laboratory of the P. Hertsen MORI, a branch of NMRRC, Ministry of Health of Russia, together with 3D Bioprinting Solutions company, conducted a unique experiment on implant bioprinting to replace skin defects. The experiment was carried out in situ - that is, "on the spot" during an operation in the P.Hertsen MORI Laboratory of preclinical trials. The study was performed on rats for several weeks. Bioprinting was carried out directly into a skin defect (wound) using a KUKA robot manipulator. During the experiment, a specially developed collagen material from the 3D Bioprinting Solutions laboratory (3D Bioprinting Solutions) was used as bio ink.
Especially in the framework of this project, specialists of the P. Herzen MORI developed an original technology for the production of blood from a platelet lysate and a gel based on it, enriched with growth factors and hormones for 2-D and 3-D cell cultivation under non-xenogenic conditions.
“This is an alternative to fetal calf serum, a xenogenic product that can cause allergic reactions,” Project manager Professor N. Sergeeva said.
- A platelet lysate is used as a component of the printed structure to stimulate regeneration. Platelet lysate can be personalized for each patient being prepared from patient’s blood.
Thus, in the future, patients with non-healing wounds will be presented with a unique method of restoring a lost skin fragment from their own cells. Collagen has its regenerative abilities.
In situ technology involves the combination of surgical robotics with 3D bioprinting. The use of special robotic hands allows you to print not only on horizontal surfaces, but also to fill fabric defects of irregular shape at the appropriate angle.
In situ bioprinting minimizes the risks of complications after transplantation. This method seems promising, as it can solve the problems of vascularization (blood supply) of the implant. Native endothelial progenitor cells of the recipient - cells that contribute to the formation of blood vessels - migrate into the printed tissue-engineered construct. The construct also gets sprouted with capillaries from the tissue surrounding the defect.
The conducted experiment was the first step towards the application of bioprinting technology in the operating room to be further used for humans. In the future, this will allow to print three-dimensional tissue-engineering constructs directly at the site of a defect in a specific organ of a patient. This will significantly expand the range of application of bioprinting technology, as it will help to get rid of the stage of growing constructs in specialized bioreactors and incubation systems.
- “Of course, oncology will be one of the first areas of medicine where this technology will be in demand. A truly modern level of surgical interventions, a huge arsenal of precision methods of irradiation and a range of chemotherapeutic and targeted drugs today can cure a large number of cancer patients. However, the quality of life after such aggressive treatment is unsatisfactory due to loss or impairment of organ function. In this respect, we have high hopes for 3D bioprinting as a technology for creating organ constructs from living elements,” Prof. Andrey Kaprin, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, NMRRC General Director, said.
- “Bioprinting is one of the breakthrough researches of modern bioengineering. In this experiment we combine the capabilities of robotics, three-dimensional bioprinting and the advantages of our proprietary collagen product with a view to creating a potential revolution in operating theaters, when surgeons can assist robots creating three-dimensional tissue-engineering organs in real time. In the future, this technology in regenerative medicine will allow to print three-dimensional tissue-engineering structures directly at the site of a defect in a specific patient’s organ,” Mr.Yousef Hesuani, Managing Partner of 3D Bioprinting Solutions, said. “We are pleased to have such an effective cooperation of scientists of various specialties and to be able to conduct these studies at the highly professional level of research that our colleagues at P.Hertsen MORI and NMRRC as a whole adhere to.
- Modern medicine should use the advanced achievements of science for the benefit of people. This cannot be done without support, and we are ready to provide it, because right now, technologies allow us to implement the best theoretical ideas and there is no need to wait for many years. This can be done here in Russia, thanks to the achievements of our scientists. That is why the investment interest of our company is invariably focused on the most striking and breakthrough projects, among which, of course, 3D Bioprinting Solutions,” Alexander Ostrovsky, founder and CEO of Invitro Group of Companies, said.
NMRRC Press Service