Biotech's future: 3-D printed human cells

Nano3D Biosciences Inc. (n3D) is using a magnetic 3-D bioprinting technology to re-imagine cell culture models and tissue printing engineering. Hubert Tseng, a senior scientist at n3D, explains the technology and its potentially transformative applications in this video. Tseng says he and his team magnetize these cells and then use magnetic forces to print those cells into micro-tissues. He explains that they use a solution called "nanoshuttle," which consists of magnetic nanoparticles that attach to the cells to magnetize them. They can then print the magnetized cells into any shape they want by changing the shape of the magnet. In one experiment, Tseng describes taking induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes -- essentially, heart cells -- and magnetizing and printing them into a sphere, after which the cells started beating. This technique offers an advantage over 2-D cell models that wouldn't beat in the same way, he says. Tseng says NSF funding has been vital because his team is tackling fundamental research challenges. Current 3-D cell culture systems "suffer from technical issues such as ease of handling, exchange of media, things that are important for cell culture and cell maintenance." Future applications for this technology could transform wound healing and regenerative medicine.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

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