SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Physiologically and anatomically identical
Human tissue & organ
What is Bio Printing?
Bioprinting is a technology that forms and cultivates 3D cell masses using biological materials such as cells and protein.
Existing culture plate-based cell experiments have failed to realize the 3-dimensional internal environment of a living body, often leading to a result that differs from actual living body responses. In 0000, an article in Nature revealed that some 90% of the experiments produced results that differed from the living body. This raises a serious question about the reliability and applicability of the results of existing cell experiments: a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
Bioprinting technology has overcome these limitations of the existing plain culture method, through formation of cell structures and realization of the 3D environment of a living body. It is not a mere change in experiment methodology but an alternative that replaces previous ‘golden standards’ – a paradigm shift in the 130 year-old history of cell experimentation.
Furthermore, the technology is opening a new chapter in the applications of bioengineering . Reproduction-related studies and stem cell research have limitations in their application at the cellular scale, whereas bioprinting technology ushers in the possibility of application at the tissular scale – ultimately, application to the organs is expected and beyond.
Bioprinting: How It Works
In bioprinting, repeated and selective laminating processes form 3D structures with biological materials, and after a post-culture procedure, a functional cell mass is formed. A batch of prepared cells mixes with supporters, as per their composition, to compose ‘bio ink’. This bio ink is then ejected through a nozzle mounted on a robot arm, and by means of controlling, the ink builds up sectional configurations, layer after layer, for each corresponding height. A repeated layer-by-layer laminating process forms 3D cell structures of any desired configuration. At this stage, the cell density of the 3D structure is low and a cell network is not yet established. Through a post-culture procedure, output cells are transformed into a functional cell mass that proliferates and differentiates.
The functional cell masses obtained with this technology can be used in basic biological experiments, organoid experiments that replace animal testing, and research related to reproductive medicine, etc.
Bioprinters Equipped with an Articulated Device
Prevention of sample contamination is one of the basic elements of an experiment using cells. In experiments, cells that lack immune systems are vulnerable to the influx of bacteria, viruses, and other particles, and contamination can be transmitted to other samples. The consequences are usually fatal for the cells and often result in jeopardizing years of experimental work. Measures to prevent contamination are critical for successful cell experiments, and this is no exception in bioprinting technology.
Existing Cartesian bioprinters are potentially susceptible to contamination. A Cartesian method that controls X-, Y-, and Z-directions independently has an intuitive and simple mechanism that can be used to formulate a highly reliable equipment construction. A Cartesian method that uses sliding rails, however, is prone to contamination from particles caused by friction: a safer bioprinting process will be achieved if this problem can be solved.
A bioprinting mechanism based on an articulated device can serve as an alternative to fundamentally prevent sample contamination. The articulated device system does not have any guide components that cause friction, and output heads are connected to the articulations and therefore suspended in the air. With this articulated device structure, it is expected that the structure that covers the upper part of output products can be minimized, keeping particle contamination to a minimum by basically eliminating the friction parts that cause those particles.
(Korean Patent Pending: KR 10-2016-0010311)