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The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences team has made breakthroughs in 3D printing material technology

2024-02-21 14:19

The team of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences has developed a new 3D biological printing material - double network hydrogel, which has greatly improved the toughness, elasticity, rigidity and extensibility of the material. On the 19th, the hospital introduced that this material is expected to be used for the regeneration of complex elastic tissues such as ear, nose, and tracheal cartilage. The 3D bioprinting technology that has emerged in recent years can be used to promote human tissue regeneration and reconstruct living structures. Natural hydrogel has become a 3D bio printing material due to its good biocompatibility and printability. However, most of these materials are brittle and have weak load-bearing capacity, making it difficult to play a role in the regeneration of complex elastic tissues such as ears, nose, and tracheal cartilage.

Now, a team composed of Professor Jiang Haiyue, researcher Liu Xia, physician Wang Di and Zeng Jinshi from the Plastic Surgery Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences has provided a new idea - to mix pure natural polymer methacryloyl gelatin, o-nitrobenzyl grafted hyaluronic acid and elastin extracted from pig's active vein to form a double network hydrogel. The test results show that the toughness of this gel is significantly improved than that of natural hydrogel, and it has excellent elasticity, extensibility and printability. It can withstand about 80% of the compression deformation without cracking, and can still recover to the original structure after withstanding about 170% of the strain deformation. It can also quickly recover to the original shape after repeated mechanical loading for 100 times.

The complex elastic tissue printed using it can maintain its integrity and shape for a long time. The team said that this gel showed excellent mechanical properties, had the potential to print out complex structures such as ear, nose, tracheal cartilage, and promote the regeneration of elastic tissue, and was expected to be widely used. Recently, the research findings were published in the international English academic journal Collective.
Of course, dual network hydrogels also have some limitations. For example, although it enhances toughness and elasticity, the stiffness is still insufficient, and the printed biological structure cannot withstand the expected skin tension. The team is using this as a breakthrough point to further study and improve the formula.