An innovative center for the printing of cells, tissues, and organs has been established in the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
Faculty Dean Professor Shulamit Levenberg, who heads the center, said that “the new center is open to all Technion researchers and will lead the Technion’s tissue engineering department into new areas.”
The field of tissue engineering has undergone dizzying progress in recent decades – and the Technion has filled a significant role in this revolution. Technion researchers are developing complex and precise artificial tissues that significantly improve their integration in the target organ. This involves, among other things, the creation of tissue containing a developed system of blood vessels that quickly connect to the patient’s blood vessels.
The 3-D Bio-Printing Center for Cell and Biomaterials Printing will provide a significant boost to the field of tissue engineering. The center operates an innovative printer that prints three-dimensional scaffolds and the cells that grow into tissue. The printer translates the information obtained from the patient’s CT scans into three-dimensional tissue suited to the injury area. The system has additional tools to design scaffolds or cells to make 3D tissues, Levenberg said. “You can design as you wish and seed cells in the proper orientation to allow them to better organize into the right tissue structure.”
The printer is relevant to all areas of regenerative medicine and makes possible the printing of various tissues and the integration of controlled- release systems. It has several different printing heads, enabling the simultaneous creation of printed tissue from different materials. It is equipped with precise motors of variable speed and accuracy of 0.001 mm, as well as a built-in camera that improves the exactitude of the printing needle.
The system is suitable for a wide range of raw materials, such as hydrogels, thermoplastic materials and ointments, with precise temperature and radiation control (ranging from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius and 30 to 250 degrees Celsius and ultraviolet radiation). The printing can be carried out directly into the culture dish.