A team from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, led by Associate Professor Akhilesh Gaharwar and Assistant Professor Abhishek Jain, has designed a 3D bioprinted model of a blood vessel that mimics native vascular function and response to disease .
They have developed new bio-links that offer unprecedented biocompatibility and control of the mechanical properties required to print blood vessels.
Layer-by-layer tissue with embedded cells
3D bioprinting is an advanced manufacturing technique capable of producing unique layer-by-layer tissue-like constructs with embedded cells, making the arrangement more likely to reflect the native multicellular composition of vascular structures.
However, there is a limitation in the available biological links that can mimic the vascular composition of native tissues. Current biolinks lack high printability and cannot deposit a high density of living cells in complex 3D architectures, making them less effective.
To overcome these shortcomings, Gaharwar and Jain developed a new nanoengineered biolink to print anatomically accurate, multicellular 3D blood vessels . Their approach offers improved real-time resolution for both the macrostructure and microstructure at the tissue level, something that is currently not possible with the available biolinks. According to Gaharwar:
A remarkably unique feature of this nanoengineered bio-linkage is that, regardless of cell density, it demonstrates high printability and the ability to protect encapsulated cells against high shear forces in the bioprinting process. Surprisingly, 3D bioprinted cells maintain a healthy phenotype and remain viable for almost a month after manufacture.
Vascular diseases such as aneurysms, peripheral artery disease, and clots within blood vessels account for 31% of global deaths.