Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) at Wollongong University in Australia have 3D bioprinted structures incorporating neural cells, that mimic brain tissue.
The six-layered structure were created using a custom 3D printable bio-ink containing naturally occurring carbohydrate materials. The material’s properties allow for accurate cell dispersion within the structure while protecting the cells as well. As a result, accurately placed cells that remain in their designated layer were deposited to create 3D structures.
“We are still a long way from printing a brain but the ability to arrange cells so as they form neuronal networks is a significant step forward,” Professor Gordon Wallace, ACES director and research author, explained.
Lab-made brain tissue would be of crucial importance not only for pharmaceutical companies in testing the effects of drugs on the brain, but also for research conducted in the field of brain disorders such as schizophrenia and degenerative diseases.
The research with the title “3D printing of layered brain-like structures using peptide modified gellan gum substrates” was published in the Biomaterials journal.