As reported by Experimental Eye Research, ” how stem cells (human corneal stromal cells) from a healthy donor cornea were mixed together with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed, a ‘bio-ink’.
Using a simple low-cost 3D bio-printer, the bio-ink was successfully extruded in concentric circles to form the shape of a human cornea. It took less than 10 minutes to print.”
On the authority of Che Connon, Professor of Tissue Engineering at Newcastle University, who led the work, “Many teams across the world have been chasing the ideal bio-ink to make this process feasible.
Our unique gel – a combination of alginate and collagen – keeps the stem cells alive whilst producing a material which is stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer.
This builds upon our previous work in which we kept cells alive for weeks at room temperature within a similar hydrogel. Now we have a ready to use bio-ink containing stem cells allowing users to start printing tissues without having to worry about growing the cells separately.”
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According to Newcastle University’s Dr Steve Swioklo, co-author with Prof Che Connon, “as the outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea has an important role in focusing vision”.
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