18 June, 2021
KAUST Bioprinting Ultrashort Peptides for Tissue Engineering
Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have developed an automated process for bioprinting a hydrogel scaffold, based on ultrashort peptides, with uniformly distributed cells. Many synthetic polymer hydrogels require harsh chemicals, and feature conditions that threaten the survival of cells, but apparently these scaffolds hold their shape, and facilitate good cell growth, so they’re beneficial for tissue engineering. The team published a paper on their work, titled “Ultrashort Peptide Bioinks Support Automated Printing of Large-Scale Constructs Assuring Long-Term Survival of Printed Tissue Constructs,” and designed three different peptides using various combinations of cyclohexylalanine, isoleucine, lysine, and phenylalanine amino acids. A novel triple-inlet nozzle was used: the peptide bioink goes in one, a buffer solution in another, and the cells are then added through the third, allowing the peptide ink to gradually mix with everything else. Once the final ink is ejected, it solidifies instantly, and captures cells within the structure.
KAUST bioengineer Charlotte Hauser, who led the research team, said, “Our next step is to bioprint 3D disease models and miniature organs for high-throughput drug screening and diagnosis. These could help reduce the time and cost of searching for more effective and personalized drugs.”
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