< stage detail

08-Oct-2015

Laser prints artificial blood vessels

Laser prints artificial blood vessels

To date, it has only been possible to cultivate the upper layers of the skin—the epidermis and dermis—outside the human body. A complete skin system, however, also includes subcutaneous tissue having a thickness of several millimeters. If one wishes to co-cultivate the hypodermis, blood vessels supplying this tissue are imperative since, for cell aggregates of about 200 microns thickness, the following applies: no life without blood. This is where the European research project ArtiVasc 3D starts.

The right material in the right form
One of the biggest challenges the project ArtiVasc 3D faced was to develop the right material for the production of artificial blood vessels. For them to be used in the human body, these vessels must have the correct mechanical properties and biocompatibility as well as full processability. Indeed, endothelial cells and pericytes must be able to colonize the artificial blood vessels.

With the combination of inkjet printing and stereolithography, the researchers were able to achieve a very fine resolution for the construction of branched, porous blood vessels with layer thicknesses of about 20 microns. Mathematical simulations were used to develop data for the construction of branched structures. This data should create the conditions so that branched structures can be generated which allow uniform blood supply. The use of the acrylate-based synthetic polymer developed in the project permits the scientists to construct these optimized vessels with a pore diameter on the order of hundreds of microns. Compared to conventional methods, the ArtiVasc 3D process provides the general conditions to produce branched and biocompatible vessels in this size for the first time.

Foray into the third dimension
The results of ArtiVasc 3D are shaping the future. A toolbox has been developed that can respond flexibly to diverse materials, shapes and sizes. These results can be viewed as a precursor to a fully automated process chain for the production of artificial blood vessels, and which can also be integrated into existing lines. Another highlight of the project is the successful breeding of adipose tissue in a novel bioreactor. The combination of the fatty tissue with an existing skin model allowed the production of a full-thickness skin model which has a thickness of up to 12 millimeters.

The successful conquest of the third dimension need not be confined to the skin, however. The ArtiVasc 3D project has also laid the foundations for three-dimensional tissue engineering. By using the principle of blood circulation with artificial blood vessels, medical engineers will be able to build larger structures such as whole organs in the future. For full skin cultured in vitro, there are a variety of applications: quick assistance for large-area skin injuries such as burns or after tumor resection as well as a replacement model that would make animal testing in the pharmaceutical industry unnecessary.

More information:
www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

 
 
 
 
  • LASER World of PHOTONICS
 
Highlights
active active active
for exhibitors
for visitors
for the press
That was LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017

That was LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017

Full halls, constructive discussions and positive feedback. Experience the highlights of the 2017 exhibition all over again.

That was LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017

That was LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017

Full halls, constructive discussions and positive feedback. Experience the highlights of the 2017 exhibition all over again.

That was LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017

Full halls, constructive discussions and positive feedback. Experience the highlights of the 2017 exhibition all over again.

Well informed—365 days a year

Well informed—365 days a year

Whether it comes to fair-related news, industry knowledge or background information: We always keep you up to date—all year long and on all channels.

Well informed—365 days a year

Well informed—365 days a year

Whether it comes to fair-related news, industry knowledge or background information: We always keep you up to date—all year long and on all channels.

Well informed—365 days a year

Whether it comes to fair-related news, industry knowledge or background information: We always keep you up to date—all year long and on all channels.

What the world’s leading trade fair has to offer

What the world’s leading trade fair has to offer

What is the focus? Who participates? How do you profit? Here you find the most important information about the world’s leading trade fair for photonics.

What the world’s leading trade fair has to offer

What the world’s leading trade fair has to offer

What is the focus? Who participates? How do you profit? Here you find the most important information about the world’s leading trade fair for photonics.

What the world’s leading trade fair has to offer

What is the focus? Who participates? How do you profit? Here you find the most important information about the world’s leading trade fair for photonics.