Home Research & Education Terasaki Institute: New Bioink improves 3D Bioprinting of Muscle Tissue

Terasaki Institute: New Bioink improves 3D Bioprinting of Muscle Tissue

Researchers at the Terasaki Institute have achieved a breakthrough in 3D bioprinting of muscle-like tissue. Their novel bioink contains microparticles for long-lasting delivery of the growth factor IGF-1, improving muscle growth.

Loss of skeletal muscle tissue due to trauma, disease or surgery not only leads to functional impairment, but also damages associated structures such as blood vessels. Previous therapeutic approaches that rely on transplanting healthy muscle tissue often produce inadequate results, particularly in the area of nerve supply.

The team at TIBI uses 3D bioprinting with a bio-ink composed of a biocompatible gelatin-based hydrogel (GelMA), myoblast cells, and microparticles designed for sustained delivery of IGF-1. According to their study in the journal Macromolecular Bioscience, sustained delivery of IGF-1 promotes muscle tissue maturation and structural alignment.

The researchers used microfluidic systems to produce uniformly sized microparticles coated with IGF-1. This was continuously delivered over several days as the microparticles degraded. One week after creating the muscular structures, the researchers observed improved myoblast alignment and differentiation into myotubes. Interestingly, the tissue structures began to contract spontaneously ten days after bioprinting.

“The sustained release of IGF-1 facilitates the maturation and alignment of muscle cells, which is a crucial step in muscle tissue repair and regeneration,” said TIBI’s Director and CEO, Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D. “There is great potential for using this strategy for the therapeutic creation of functional, contractile muscle tissue.”

This approach could provide a powerful alternative to current therapies for muscle loss and opens new doors for regenerative medicine, particularly in the production of functional, contractile muscle tissues.

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