Ultra-soft cell scaffolds can be printed with frozen hydrogel in 3D. January 12, 2018/Imperial College London recently developed a new technology, which can create flexible scaffolds that more accurately imitate human soft tissues. Researchers believe that this method can help the regeneration of soft tissue, and one day can cultivate neuron cells, which can then be used for the regeneration of brain and spinal cord.
This new technology involves 3D printing and low temperature (freezing). Specifically, hydrogel ink as raw material is rapidly cooled by dry ice (solid carbon dioxide), and then extruded by 3D printer. Once the hydrogel is thawed, it will become as soft as human tissue, and at the same time, it will be enough to support itself.
Through early tests, researchers have proved the ability of this new technology-they printed out flexible scaffolds with it, and then successfully "planted" fibroblasts in them (which will eventually develop into connective tissue in the skin). At the same time, they said that compared with the common 3D printing scaffold, this new scaffold can obviously improve the adhesion effect and survival rate of cells.
"The biggest innovation of this technology is the use of dry ice," explained Dr. Antonio Elia Forte, a researcher in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College of Technology. "It uses the phase change between liquid and solid to trigger polymerization and create ultra-soft objects that can keep their shapes. This means that this technology has a wide range of possible uses. "
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