Tissue engineered biomaterials
At the Lab for Experimental Cancer Research - Long term viable cell encapsulation in to microparticles (500µm) is achieved by mixing cells with a mixture of Na-alginate and gelatin. By dripping this mixture in a CaCl2 bath initiating instant gellification. By adding a coating through layer-by-layer the particles are stabilized. The encapsulated cells are sustained in culture medium. Proteins secreted by the encapsulated cells are retained in the coating. The surface of the microparticles mimics the matrix produced by the encapsulated cells and allows /stimulates adhesion of other cells to the surface. Both cell types are physically separated.
The Lab of Experimental Cancer Research makes use of 3D printed gelatin coated PLA scaffolds (d 6mm, h 4mm) to co-culture cells in a 3D manner. The cells are suspended in a collagen gel and transferred to the scaffolds by applying vacuumed pressure. During in vitro culture, the cells self-organize themselves and form 3D structures. These scaffolds can also be implanted in an animal model. Within 4 weeks the scaffold is infiltrated by host- tissue and supplied by newly formed blood vessels, visible on contrast enhanced µCT.
For more information and opportunities on bioprinting, also contact: dr. An Van Den Bulcke from theTissue Engineering and Biomaterials Group (UGent); Coordinator of the Bioprinting facility