Researchers Use 3-D Printing to Create Heart Cells from Stem Cells

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 12:15
Stem Cells

Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) turned to additive manufacturing to control stem cell differentiation in embryoid bodies.

According to the research study published in Bioprinting, adopting a multidisciplinary approach by combining the research domains of 3-D manufacturing and life sciences, Ph.D. student Rupambika Das and Assistant Professor Javier G. Fernandez 3-D printed several micro-scaled physical devices with finely tuned geometries, Medical Xpress reports.

They used the devices to demonstrate unprecedented precision in the directed differentiation of stem cells through the formation of embryoid bodies. In their study, they successfully regulated the parameters for enhancing the production of cardiomyocytes, cells which are found in the heart.

"The field of additive manufacturing is evolving at an unrivaled pace. We are seeing levels of precision, speed and cost that were inconceivable just a few years ago. What we have demonstrated is that 3-D printing has now reached the point of geometrical accuracy where it is able to control the outcome of stem cell differentiation. And in doing so, we are propelling regenerative medicine to further advance alongside the accelerated rate of the additive manufacturing industry," said principal investigator Assistant Professor Javier G. Fernandez from SUTD.

"The use of 3-D printing in biology has been strongly focused on the printing of artificial tissues using cell laden cells, to build artificial organs 'piece by piece'. Now, we have demonstrated that 3-D printing has the potential for it to be used in a bio-inspired approach in which we can control cells to grow in a lab just as they grow in vivo," added first author Rupambika Das, Ph.D. student from SUTD.

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