• Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have found that iPSCs could be printed to mimic cartilage utilizing an alginate-based bioink.

    In a study published in Scientific Report, a team of scientists from Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg (both Sweden) have demonstrated that a nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC)-alginate composite bioink was suitable to print induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that formed cartilaginous tissue after 5 weeks.

    This technology has the potential to form a treatment for cartilage lesions, which can progress into secondary osteoarthritis and cause severe clinical problems.

    The iPSCs were coprinted with irradiated human chondrocytes and maintained their pluripotency with an increase in cell density detected by two-photon fluorescence microscopy. A second bioink, NFC-hyaluronic acid, was also tested; however, after 5 weeks, low cell proliferation and phenotypic changes away from pluripotency were detected.

    The final concentration of iPSCs and irradiated chondrocytes was 20 million cells/ml of bioink. The 3D files were created utilizing BioCAD software (Biomedical Modeling Inc; MA, USA) and 3D Discovery (regenHu; Switzerland) HMI software. A 3D Discovery 3D bioprinter was utilized, with a 300µm nozzle.

    The team hope that directing the iPSCs to become chondrocytes could lead to further understanding of the molecular pathways involved and improved of cartilage tissue generation. Better understanding and an optimized process could help bring forward 3D bioprinting with iPSCs to clinic as a valid treatment to repair damaged cartilage in joints.

    To find out more about this research, with author (University of Gothenburg; Sweden).

    Source: Nguyen D, Hägg DA, Forsman A et al. . Sci. Rep. 7: 658 (2017)


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