Biological Engineering


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 566 Views Oct 5, 2022

Cell bioprinting technologies aim to fabricate tissue-like constructs by delivering biomaterials layer-by-layer. Bioprinted constructs can reduce the use of animals in drug development and hold promise for addressing the shortage of organs for transplants. We recently introduced a laser-assisted drop-on-demand bioprinting technology termed Laser Induced Side Transfer (LIST). This technology can print delicate cell types, including primary neurons. This bioprinting protocol includes the following key steps: cell harvesting, bio-ink preparation, laser setup priming, printing, and post-printing analysis. This protocol includes a detailed description of the laser setup, which is a rather unusual setup for a biology lab. This should allow easy reproduction by readers with basic knowledge of optics. Although we have focused on neuron bioprinting, interested readers will be able to adapt the protocol to bioprint virtually any cell type.

Graphical abstract:

0 Q&A 2288 Views Nov 5, 2021

The local delivery of growth factors such as BMP-2 is a well-established strategy for the repair of bone defects. The limitations of such approaches clinically are well documented and can be linked to the need for supraphysiological doses and poor spatio-temporal control of growth factor release in vivo. Using bioprinting techniques, it is possible to generate implants that can deliver cytokines or growth factors with distinct spatiotemporal release profiles and patterns to enhance bone regeneration. Specifically, for bone healing, several growth factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs), have been shown to be expressed at different phases of the process. This protocol aims to outline how to use bioprinting strategies to deliver growth factors, both alone or in combination, to the site of injury at physiologically relevant dosages such that repair is induced without adverse effects. Here we describe: the printing parameters to generate the polymer mechanical backbone; instructions to generate the different bioinks and allow for the temporal control of both growth factors; and the printing process to develop implants with spatially defined patterns of growth factors for bone regeneration. The novelty of this protocol is the use of multiple-tool fabrication techniques to develop an implant with spatio-temporal control of growth factor delivery for bone regeneration. While the overall aim of this protocol was to develop an implant for bone regeneration, the technique can be modified and used for a variety of regenerative purposes.

Graphic abstract:

3D Bioprinting Spatio-Temporally Defined Patterns of Growth Factors to Tightly Control Bone Tissue Regeneration.

0 Q&A 3258 Views Aug 20, 2021

Extracellular recordings in freely moving animals allow the monitoring of brain activity from populations of neurons at single-spike temporal resolution. While state-of-the-art electrophysiological recording devices have been developed in recent years (e.g., µLED and Neuropixels silicon probes), implantation methods for silicon probes in rats and mice have not advanced substantially for a decade. The surgery is complex, takes time to master, and involves handling expensive devices and valuable animal subjects. In addition, chronic silicon neural probes are practically single implant devices due to the current low success rate of probe recovery. To successfully recover silicon probes, improve upon the quality of electrophysiological recording, and make silicon probe recordings more accessible, we have designed a miniature, low cost, and recoverable microdrive system. The addition of a novel 3D-printed skull baseplate makes the surgery less invasive, faster, and simpler for both rats and mice. We provide detailed procedural instructions and print designs, allowing researchers to adapt and flexibly customize our designs to their experimental usage.

0 Q&A 3282 Views May 5, 2021

Inkjet 3D printing is an additive manufacturing method that allows the user to produce a small batch of customized devices for comparative study versus commercial products. Here, we describe the use of a commercial 2D ink development system (Dimatix material printing) to manufacture small batches of 3D medical or other devices using a recently characterized fungal anti-attachment material. Such printed devices may resist problems that beset commercial medical products due to colonization by the fungal pathogen Candida albicans. By sequentially introducing the cross-section bitmaps of the product’s CAD model and elevating the print head height using the auto-clicking script, we were able to create complex self-support geometries with the 2D ink development system. The use of this protocol allows researchers to produce a small batch of specimens for characterization from only a few grams of raw material. Additionally, we describe the testing of manufactured specimens for fungal anti-attachment. In comparison with most commercial AM systems, which require at least a few hundred grams of ink for printing trials, our protocol is well suited for smaller-scale production in material studies.

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