3D Bioprinted Human Cartilage Cells to Live and Grow Inside Mice

No better way to end the week than to see our technology is being used to change the world.  Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska Academy, have used 3D bioprinted technology to induce living human cartilage cells to develop and grow in an animal. This is a huge breakthrough and a step towards bioprinting human parts.


Earlier this year, CELLINK released its latest 3D bioprinter, the Bio X, capable of printing in a range of biomaterials, including heart, skin, cartilage, and bone, and which offers the latest in CELLINK’s bioprinting technology, hardware, and software. But although the new 3D bioprinter is CELLINK’s most advanced, it is the older CELLINK INKREDIBLE bioprinter that has helped Swedish researchers make a major bioprinting breakthrough.


In a research project that could massively advance the development of 3D bioprinted human organs, scientists at Sahlgrenska Academy and Chalmers University of Technology have induced human-derived cartilage cells to live and grow in an animal host—in this case, mice. “This is the first time anyone has printed human-derived cartilage cells, implanted them in an animal model, and induced them to grow,” said Paul Gatenholm, a professor of biopolymer technology at Chalmers University of Technology.


The Swedish researchers’ findings, which have been published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, show how a hydrogel of nanocellulose mixed with human-derived cartilage cells was 3D printed using the CELLINK printer and then implanted in mice. This new nanocellulose-based biomaterial was developed by Gatenholm and his research team at the  Wallenberg Wood Science Center. They were aided by Lars Kölby, a senior lecturer at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy and a specialist consultant with the Department of Plastic Surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.


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