A new method of bioprinting adult neuron cells has been developed by researchers. They used a new laser-assisted technology that improves cell viability and functionality.
An Improvement on previous techniques
This laser-assisted technique, developed by researchers, is an improvement on the previous bioprinting techniques. It uses bio-inks of different viscosities that allow for better bioprinting. It is called laser-induced side transfer.
The researchers demonstrated that this technique can be used to bio print sensory neurons, a vital component of the peripheral nervous system and it also shows the future potential of bioprinting in developing new drugs, modeling different diseases, and creating implants.
This research study was originally published through a collaboration between researchers from Gina Cody school of engineering and computer science Concordia University and the University of Montreal. This newer paper was published by researchers from the University of Montreal and the Federal University of Santa Caterina in Brazil.
How researchers printed sensory neuron cells
Researchers used dorsal root neuronal cells from the peripheral nervous system of the mice. A bio-ink solution was used to suspend these cells and these cells were then transferred into a square capillary above a biocompatible substrate. By focusing low-energy nano-second laser pulses in the middle of the capillary, the researchers generated microbubbles that ejected a microbubble on the substrate. After that, the samples were incubated for a short time followed by washing them and re incubating them for 48 hours. Following that, the researchers tested these cells for viability through various tests. 86 percent of the cells were viable two days after bioprinting. Their viability increased if the researchers used low-energy lasers.
Researchers also used various other tests to measure neuronal outgrowth, neuropeptide release, RNA sequencing, and calcium imaging.
According to one of the researchers, people often think that scientists are able to bio print human organs. He believes that it is certainly a long-term objective of bioprinting research but the nearest objective (that seems achievable) is to test drugs.
A more Humane Approach for testing new drugs
According to the researcher, there are two main advantages of the development of bioprinting techniques. First is the discovery of new drugs by testing them on the tissues developed by bioprinting and the second one is a decrease in tests performed on animals. The researcher believes that the second advantage will lead to more humane approaches in science by decreasing euthanization of animals and also, it will increase the accuracy of results as the tests will be performed on the human tissue.
Researchers are now aiming to get approval for this technique to continue their research in the field of cell grafting.
Bioprinting of Adult Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Neurons Using Laser-Induced Side Transfer (LIST)
Micromachines, Accessed 23 September 2021, https://www.mdpi.com/2072-666X/12/8/865