Researchers around the world continually surprise us with innovation, but rarely do they reach into the roots of popular culture—and the food that accompanies it—applying it to the world of bioprinting…and with hot dogs in mind, no less. However, that’s exactly what has inspired German and Chinese scientists to build bioprinting structures, with their study outlined in the recently published ‘3D Printing of Hot Dog-Like Biomaterials with Hierarchical Architecture and Distinct Bioactivity.’
The researchers fabricated hierarchical structures using direct ink writing (DIW), with the hot dog structure figuring in with the use of tubes:
“The scaffolds are composed of hollow bioceramic tubes (mimicking the “bread” in hot dogs, pore size: ≈1 mm) embedded by bioceramic rods (mimicking the “sausage” in hot dogs, diameter: ≈500 µm) and the sausage‐like bioceramic rods possess uniformly aligned lamellar micropores (lamellar pore size: ≈30 µm),” said the researchers.
While hierarchical structures are often used in bioprinting, it can be challenging to find suitable materials in creating micro/nanostructures, and especially with DIW. And while challenges have continued in implanting 3D printed scaffolds to regenerate bone growth, there has been some success. The researchers contend, however, that hierarchy in structure is needed to promote better tissue growth, with the ‘hot-dog like structure’ lending itself to better cell adhesion and supply of nutrients, with the rods enhancing delivery of osteogenic drugs.
“By mimicking the function of nutrition supply for sausages in hot dog, the potential of the scaffolds for loading icariin (Ica, a model osteogenic drug), was investigated in this study,” explained the researchers.
“However, the Ica loading efficiency and capacity of S‐AKT were much lower than that of HD‐AKT, indicating the excellent loading capacity of the hierarchical hot dog‐like scaffolds. The thermogravimetric analysis further verified the significantly improved loading efficiency of HD‐AKT scaffolds as compared to those without hot dog microstructure.”
The research team also discovered that other drugs could be distributed too, such as the large molecule protein bull serum albumin (BSA). Even more encouraging, the researchers found that the scaffolds exhibited ‘excellent bioactivity,’ proven through in vivo processes for bone regeneration as they implanted drugs into ‘rabbit femoral defects’ for eight weeks with no inflammation, and proof of bone tissue growth.
“Our study suggests that the hot dog‐like scaffolds can be used for the multifunctional biomaterials for drug delivery, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. The combined strategy of DIW 3D printing with bidirectional freezing is a promising method to prepare biomimetic and hierarchical biomaterials,” concluded the researchers.
While man-made processed foods are certainly inspiring to many, undoubtedly nature continues to propel scientists and designers forward from creating conductive parts to custom-made shoes, and liquid polymers for 3D printing. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.
[Source / Images: ‘3D Printing of Hot Dog-Like Biomaterials with Hierarchical Architecture and Distinct Bioactivity’]
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