The long-distance transportation of mammalian cells between research laboratories usually requires cryo-preservation in dry ice or liquid nitrogen. Both of these conventional methods of shipping are hazardous in nature and associated with high shipping costs, thereby limiting their routine use. As an alternative to shipping frozen cells, live cells can be shipped either in a flask filled with medium or embedded in hydrogels. Beyond the cost savings, the advantages of shipping live cells include preventing loss or changes in the biological function and viability of the cells, which are often compromised during the freeze-and-thaw cycle required with cryopreservation. Although shipping live cells embedded in hydrogels has been widely studied, the shipping of cell-laden 3D bioprinted constructs in hydrogels has not yet been evaluated to determine the viability of shape, structure and the biological function of cells.
Shubhankar Nath, a Senior Cell Biologist at CELLINK, will present his team’s work at the ARMI BioFabUSA Virtual Technical Workshop Series on the cost-effective shipping of 3D bioprinted constructs at ambient temperature using a novel encapsulation technology WellReady from Atelerix. He will present data showing that the 3D bioprinted constructs maintained their shape and structure, and the cells remained viable and showed expression of relevant phenotypic markers upon recovery from the hydrogel encapsulation.