An interdisciplinary team from the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at Oxford and the Centre for Molecular Medicine at Bristol, demonstrated how a range of human and animal cells can be printed into high-resolution tissue constructs. Led by Professor Hagan Bayley, the team found a way to produce tissues in self-contained cells that support the structures to keep their shape.
Technically, the cells were contained within protective nanolitre droplets wrapped in a lipid coating that could be assembled, layer-by-layer, into living structures. Once fully grown, the patterned cellular constructs mimic or potentially enhance natural tissues. ‘We were aiming to fabricate three-dimensional living tissues that could display the basic behaviors and physiology found in natural organisms. (…) We focused on designing a high-resolution cell printing platform, from relatively inexpensive components, that could be used to reproducibly produce artificial tissues with appropriate complexity from a range of cells including stem cells,” Dr Alexander Graham, lead author, revealed in research published in the journal Scientific Reports. Probably the most important application of the method will be to create personalized treatments by using cells sourced from patients.