Breaking Barriers: Printing Vascularized Skin

Institution

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Team

Pankaj Karande

Tânia Baltazar, Jonathan Merola, Carolina Catarino, et al.

Challenge

Today’s synthetic skin graft products accelerate wound healing but eventually fall off because they never integrate with the patient’s skin tissue. The absence of a functioning vascular system in the synthetic grafts is a significant barrier.

Solution

Karande and his team have developed a bioink made up of human endothelial cells, human pericyte cells and animal collagen. They used the CELLINK BIO X and Temperature Controlled Printhead to ensure that these constructs could be printed.

Results

This combination of key elements enabled the cells to start communicating and more importantly begin forming a biologically relevant vascular structure within the span of a few weeks. Once blood vessels formed, nutrients and waste could be exchanged to keep the graft alive. The groups significant development highlights the vast potential of 3D bioprinting in precision medicine, where solutions can be tailored to specific situations.

Watch Professor Karande discuss his work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uM9HDmBeVE&feature=emb_logo

Read more

Three dimensional bioprinting of a vascularized and perfusable skin graft using human keratinocytes, fibroblasts, pericytes, and endothelial cells. Tissue Engineering Part A. 2020; 26(5-6): 227-238. DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2019.0201.

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