Name: Matthew Confeld and Chad  Rehovsky

Institution: North Dakota State University

What are you currently using CELLINK technology for?

We are a collaborating bio-engineer and pharmaceutical scientist working to bioprint three-dimensional cell scaffolds for monitoring pancreatic cancer growth and metastasis. We want to compare how different drug formulations affect cell growth and metastasis in a 3D environment as opposed to the 2D cultures that are traditionally used. Using the INKredible+ we create three-dimensional scaffolds for cell growth. We hypothesize that due to the 3D cellular interactions and the slower rate of diffusion, we will more closely replicate the effects of the drugs in-vivo. We have also developed a spinning bioreactor that fits over a 12 well plate to evenly disperse the drug formulations around the scaffolds. Below, are images of our prototype scaffold design (left) and cells, stained green, within the scaffold (right).


What sparked your interest to work with 3D Bioprinting?

The ability of 3D bioprinting to bridge the fields of engineering and medicine is what we find so interesting. It provides a tool to model different biological systems that are very difficult and expensive to replicate using other methods. Bioprinting offers tremendous potential in helping us understand complex diseases that are currently difficult to study in an in-vitro environment.

What future projects are you hoping to use CELLINK technology for?

In the future, we are looking at using bioprinting to create dynamic models of pancreatic cancer metastasis. We want to try to entice cells to migrate from one bioprinted “organ” to another and recolonize. Using the INKredible+, we can deposit different cell types and materials in different areas to model a more realistic vasculature system.

What do you find to be most exciting about working with 3D Bioprinting?

Chad: I find the opportunities for cooperation and cross-disciplinary work to be the most exciting part about bioprinting. It allows people from so many different backgrounds to come together to help solve problems that are much more difficult to solve independently.

Matthew: It is becoming increasingly apparent that what works well in a 2D environment does not always correlate to working in a 3D environment.  3D bioprinting can potentially be a cost-effective way to better mimic in-vivo conditions.

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