A biodegradable tissue scaffold called Celleron has been developed by the engineers at Swansea Univeristy In Wales. The biomaterial presented in the forms of a filament derivative and as a liquid biopolymer could be 3D printed to replicate structures of complex tissues.
Led by Dr. Dan Thomas in Swansea University, the team of engineers created a 3D Printable Celleron that are built with materials like phospholipids, graphene, collagen, antibiotcs and agarose. According to Dr. Thomas, the “matrix-based polymer” could be utilized to provide “independent cell adhesion, cell-to-cell communication and differentiation.”
Prior to 3D printing the actual material, Celleron is fermented by a biological activator, causing it to be microporous. Such characteristic increases the surface area and the overall strength of the material. Then, the scaffold is saturated with protein growth factors to finally transform into a composite.
The team of engineers tried to use the 3D printed Celleron to create a prototype of a human ear, as Dr. Thomas explains, the structure of the human ear is “technically challenging in nature.”
During the creation of the prototype, Celleron that is added into a stem cell culture scaffold retained its biological capability and was able to proliferate quickly. By doing so, the Celleron polymer transformed into a tissue.
The biomaterial is 3D Printed using a 3Dynamic Alpha 3D bio printer, which are currently in-use by researchers around the world.
Using the 3Dynamic Alpha 3D bio printer, the team plans to develop biological heart valve tissue sturctures. As 3Dprint.com reports, “the researchers at Swansea 3D printed the entire internal complex structure of the human heart.”