Microcages manufactured on a 3D printer could be used as scaffolding to regenerate soft and hard tissue and could lead to human transplant lab-made organs. The Advanced Materials journal explains that the hollow bricks can rebuild tissue faster than any existing methods, and the microcages can heal fractured bones when placed together.
The innovation, developed by colleagues from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), New York University and Mahidol University, Thailand, was led by Luiz Bertassoni, PhD, Associate Professor at OHSU School of Dentistry, as well as an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at OHSU School of Medicine.
“Microcages combine for the regeneration of tissues.“
The micro cage scaffolding system's hollow blocks can be filled with minuscule quantities of gel containing various growth factors that are precisely positioned closest to where they are required. In contrast to traditional scaffolding material, the study found that growth factor-filled blocks placed near rat bones that were repaired led to nearly three times greater growth of the blood vessels.
The tiny devices are modular, so they can be assembled to fit into almost any space. Additionally, the researchers estimate more than twenty-nine thousand different configurations can be generated when piecing block segments together, comprising four layers of four bricks by four bricks.
Mr Bertassoni stated: “Our patent pending scaffolding is easy to use; it can be stacked together like Legos and placed in thousands of different configurations to match the complexity and size of almost any situation.”
Study co-author, a postdoctoral scholar in Bertassoni’s OHSU lab and Ph.D., Ramesh Subbiah, stated: “The 3D-printed micro cage technology improves healing by stimulating the right type of cells to grow in the right place and at the right time. Different growth factors can be placed inside each block, enabling us to more precisely and quickly repair tissue.”See all the latest jobs in Service Engineering