In Gothenburg, Sweden, a small start-up lead by two young entrepreneurs (Erik Gatenholm & Ivan Tournier) is taking a revolutionary step in the bioprinting field.
Start-up: CELLINK developed the first universal bioink that has optimal biocompatibility and printing fidelity allowing the printing of complex structures with ease. Their goal is to reduce the time universities and pharmaceutical companies around the world are spending trying to produce realistic human tissue models by developing their own suitable bioinks for their newly acquired 3D bioprinter.
In order to achieve this goal, the start-up releases world’s first 3D Bioprinting “Start-ink” kit, specifically aimed at decreasing printing time while also simplifying the entire bioprinting method. Up until today, the standard bioprinting method has involved the use of dual printerheads –one for the bioink and the other one for the cells- or a post-seeding technique –where cells are added after the printing is completed-. The “Start-ink” kit allows the researcher to mix the cells together with the bioink and print everything at once.
On the 25th of March 2015, members of the CELLINK team published their first paper in the Biomacromolecules journal on 3D bioprinting of human cartilage tissue through the combination of CELLINK with nasoseptal chondrocytes (hNC). The bioink used is a nanocellulose based hydrogel that offers structurally similar properties to extracellular matrix. In the case of chondrocytes, proliferation and collagen type II was seen after 21 days of culturing. Once the printed structure is crosslinked, it is very easy to handle and resistant to shocks and mechanical forces, which makes it a very realistic testing platform.
The next step is to optimize CELLINK for bioprinting of a wide range of other human tissue models such as skin for cosmetology application, bone, and liver for drug discovery.
If you are in Boston, MA, on the 8 & 9th July for 3D-Printing in Life sciences Conference or the 8-11th September at TERMIS WORLD CONGRESS, come say hello to the team!