Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - 35

Novel Ink 3D Prints Bone with Living Cells
The ceramic-based ink would allow surgeons to 3D print bone parts that could be used to
repair damaged bone tissue.
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
S
cientists have developed a ceramic-based
ink made of calcium phosphate
to 3D print bone parts complete
with living cells that could be used to repair
damaged bone tissue. The 3D printer
method is ceramic omnidirectional bioprinting
in cell-suspensions (COBICS),
which enables surgeons to print bonelike
structures that harden in a matter of
minutes when placed in water. The material
can be created at room temperature
- complete with living cells - and without
harsh chemicals or radiation.
The fact that living cells can be part of
the 3D-printed structure, together with
its portability, make it a big advance on
current state-of-the-art technology. Up
until now, making a piece of bone-like
material to repair bone tissue of a patient
involves first going into a laboratory to
fabricate the structures using high-temperature
furnaces and toxic chemicals.
This produces a dry material that is
then brought into a clinical setting or
into a laboratory, where it is washed
profusely and then living cells are added
to it. With the new technique, the
material can be extruded directly into
a place where there are cells, blood
vessels, and fat, enabling the bone-like
structure to be printed that already
contains living cells.
The novel ink was developed in a
microgel matrix with living cells. The
ink takes advantage of a setting mechanism
through the local nanocrystallization
of its components in aqueous
environments, converting the inorganic
ink to mechanically interlocked bone
nanocrystals. In other words, it forms
a structure that is chemically similar to
bone-building blocks. The ink is formulated
in such a way that the conversion is
quick, nontoxic in a biological environScientists
can print bone-like structures using
a 3D printer and a gelatinous bath containing
living cells. (Photo: UNSW)
Tech Briefs, May 2022
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Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022

Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Sponsor
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