Development of dECM bioink
Many biomaterials have been developed but can’t reproduce the complexity of natural ECM. However, dECM (decellularized extracellular matrix) can utilize ECM structure since it is originated from natural ECM, thus is able to reconstruct characterized cellular functions. Therefore, engineered tissue can grow well in the dECM environment. Our laboratory has researched these dECM components as bioink. The bioink can be used in the topics of clinical application, in vitro drug screening and disease model as tissue engineering approaches.
Bioprinting technology makes it possible to fabricate a computer designed 3D micro-architecture composed of mulitple types of living cell and biomaterial so that it can produce real organ/tissue-like cellular construct. Numerous researchers have been reported that the biomimetic design is highly beneficial in not only cell culturing but also the regeneration of artificial tissue or organ. Our team will explore about 3D printing process with various types of living cell/biomaterial. And, based on the printing technology, various bioapplications will be studied. Our studies will include following items;
1. 3D bioprinting process to produce biomimetic cellular construct
2. Artificial tissue or organ regeneration
3. Regenerative medicine
5. Drug delivery system
6. Design and development of functional prosthesis
Engineering Vascularized Tissue
One critical obstacle in Tissue Engineering is building perfusable vasculature that can support tissue survival. Continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients is essential for cell growth and development. If there is no vascular network in engineered tissue, cells inside the tissue can receive sufficient nutrients due to diffusion limitation of molecules. Pre-vascularization can solve this problem.
In vivo vasculature involves endothelial cells that form the wall of vessel and several perivascular cells that induce or stabilize vessel formation. We plan to fabricate functional vascularized tissue by controlling the arrangement of multiple vascular cells through 3D bioprinting technology.
Development of PLGA FDM filament
Synthetic polymers have been used as supporter for scaffold in tissue engineering field. When this material is printed, heat should be applied. But, in terms of certain polymers such as poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), It’s properties are easily modified during print, because of heat. And it causes unexpected variation of degradation time within scaffold.
Our goal is to print synthetic biopolymer which is sensitive to heat. One of the probable approaches is to print them by fused filament fabrication (FFF) printer. Therefore, we are studying how to make 3D printing filament to utilize FFF printer.