January 12, 2022
Tuning the mechanical properties of cell-laden alginate constructs
Dr. Daniel J. Kelly and his team at Trinity College Dublin researched how changing the formulation of an alginate bioink can alter the mechanical properties of a 3D printed scaffold. Like preparing a sauce, the consistency of a bioink can be adjusted by changing the concentration of its ingredients. However, it's more complex in biomedical research and requires analytical tools for quantification. Alginate, a natural biomaterial from algae, can quickly crosslink in the presence of ions (like Ca2+), forming a cohesive hydrogel with tunable properties. This makes it an ideal bioink for 3D bioprinting in tissue engineering and drug delivery.
November 17, 2021
Viscoelasticity characterization of Gelomics LunaGel™ Photocrosslinkable Extracellular Matrices using ElastoSens™ Bio and its effect on cancer cells invasiveness
All cells in the human body are exposed to mechanical forces which regulate cell function and tissue development, and each cell type is specifically adapted to the mechanical properties of the tissue it resides in. The matrix properties of human tissues can also change with disease and in turn facilitate its progression.
November 8, 2021
Unraveling the importance of extracellular matrices for cellular research and tissue engineering
During this last month, we explored the use of decellularized extracellular matrices (dECM) in tissue engineering and cell culture. dECM provides a natural scaffold for cells, containing the necessary biochemical cues and structural support to mimic native tissues. In one study, researchers from Trinity College Dublin investigated how the formulation of an alginate bioink can modulate the mechanical properties of 3D printed scaffolds. Alginate, a natural biomaterial derived from algae, is commonly used as a bioink due to its viscosifying, gelling, and biocompatible properties. The researchers examined different formulations of the bioink, varying the degree of polymerization and the type of divalent cations used for crosslinking. They evaluated the mechanical properties of the resulting scaffolds and assessed their suitability for tissue engineering applications. This work highlights the importance of optimizing bioink formulations to achieve desired mechanical properties in 3D printed constructs.
September 14, 2021
Light exposure
The effect of light exposure and formulation on the photocrosslinking kinetics of modified gelatin and hyaluronic acid
Gelatin and hyaluronic acid (HA) are biomaterials widely used in the biomedical research field. HA is the most abundant glycosaminoglycan in the body and is an important component of several tissues. HA contributes to tissue hydrodynamics, movement and proliferation of cells, and participates in a number of cell surface receptor interactions.
July 8, 2021
Bone regeneration enhanced by using a viscoelastic hydrogel
In a recent study, researchers from the University of California at Davis investigated the impact of the viscoelasticity of the cell's environment on bone formation by mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). They prepared alginate hydrogels with different mechanical properties and loaded them with MSC aggregates. The results showed that while both hydrogels supported high cell viability, the viscoelastic hydrogel promoted significantly higher calcium production by the cells compared to the elastic hydrogel. Calcium is an essential component for bone regeneration. These findings emphasize the importance of the cell's external environment, specifically its viscoelastic properties, in influencing cellular behavior and tissue regeneration.
January 30, 2021
Degradation and drug release of hydrogel-based drug delivery systems
The controlled release of drugs at precise locations within the body can prevent systemic toxicity and deliver accurate dosages to patients. Hydrogels have recently been investigated as promising drug delivery systems due to their ability to provide spatial and temporal control over the release of a number of therapeutic agents. Furthermore, the easy tunability of their physicochemical and mechanical properties allows the design of application-specific release systems.