Researchers in China claim that their newly developed bioprinting microrobot technology could be used to carry out tissue repairs inside the body. The bioprinting platform is a Delta robot made of three identical kinematic chains, a fixed base and moving platform - the study was described in the Institute of Physics journal Biofabrication.
The state-of-the-art technology is minimally invasive as it folds itself while entering the body and then unfolds itself before commencing the bioprinting operation. Furthermore, the technology has potentially significant benefits over current bioprinting technology, which usually focuses on external sites, stated the paper’s co-author, Prof Tao Xu.
“Newly developed bioprinting microbot technology could be used to carry out tissue repairs inside the body.“
Before carrying out a bioprinting test in a cell culture dish to test the effectiveness of the device when repairing wounds and bioprinting viable cells, the system was tested with an endoscope and a biological model of a human stomach.
Prof Tao Xu stated: “Bioprinters are normally quite large and cannot be applied to inner tissue repair without invasive surgery to give enough room for the printing operation. To overcome this, we developed a microrobot that enters the body via an endoscope to carry out tissue repair inside the body. Gastric wall injury is a common problem in the digestive tract and about twelve per cent of the world’s population suffer from it to varying degrees. Bioprinting, delivering new cells directly to the wound site to repair the tissue, offers a potentially very useful way to treat the problem.”