Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Printed Bioplotting May Offer Comfort to Diabetes Patients

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

bioplotting scaffoldType 1 diabetes is a malady usually diagnosed in children and young adults, once known as juvenile diabetes. Only five percent of diabetes sufferers have this form of the disease; in Type 1 diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin, a hormone the body uses to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy.

With a combination of insulin therapy and various other treatments, even the youngest children can learn to manage their condition and live long, relatively healthy lives.

One of the ways patients can compensate for their lack of insulin is via an as-yet experimental procedure. Called pancreatic islet transplantation, it’s a process in which clusters of cells are transplanted from the pancreas of a healthy donor.

There is a major side effect of this treatment. It requires that a patient undergo ongoing doses of immunosuppressant drugs to prevent the patient’s body attacking the foreign, transplanted cells.

Now a new approach offers relief from that issue by using a 3D printed scaffold as a delivery technique to manage the condition.

In Type 1 diabetes, a patient’s system can display low levels of glucose in the blood. The condition is known as hypoglycemia, and its effects are both unpleasant and potentially lethal.

Now researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have built scaffolds  they say will improve the success rate of pancreatic islet transplantation by embedding the islets within a mixture of alginate and gelatin.

BF513482_suppdata_figure1They call the process bioplotting, and it results in a porous, 3D printed structure which allows for an optimum exchange of glucose and insulin.

In fact, lab results have shown these 3D printed islets and scaffolds are every bit as capable of performing the role as the islet cells they replace and that they provide the necessary protection against the immune system response of the body.

Dr. Aart van Apeldoorn, a co-author of the research, says this “immunoprotective scaffold” may be developed by using a non-degradable hydrogel. The hydrogel includes a proper mesh size which can block antibodies and immune system-specific cells while the mesh remains large enough to allow for insulin diffusion.

“If we are to improve the success of this treatment for Type 1 diabetes, we need to create an implant in which islets are embedded, or encapsulated, from a material that allows for very efficient oxygen and nutrient supply, and quick exchange of glucose and insulin, while keeping the host cells out,” says van Apeldoorn.

According to van Apeldoorn, these “macroporous scaffolds” ensured that the islet cells held within them wouldn’t migrate uncontrollably throughout the rest of the body once transplanted into the donor site.

Results of the research were published in the journal Biofabrication.

What do you think of this biofabricated treatment, which may one day help Type 1 diabetics avoid ongoing immunosuppresant treatments? Let us know in the 3D Printed Bioplotting forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

BF513482_suppdata_figure2

 

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: January 23, 2022

3D Printing News Briefs, January 22, 2022: Research, Business, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs, January 15, 2022: 3D Laser Printing, Housing, & More

We’re starting with some interesting research in 3D Printing News Briefs today, which could help reduce the cost and size of 3D laser printing. Moving on, a cancer patient is...

3D Printed Vaginal Rings Could Treat Bacterial Infections

There are plenty of examples in which 3D printing has been used to develop drug delivery systems, but this research out of Hungary is tackling the issue from a new...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 12, 2022: Rebranding, Bioprinting, & More

First up in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Particle3D has gone through a rebrand, and a team of researchers developed a way to 3D print and preserve tissues in below-freezing...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 8, 2021: Business, Doxing, 3D Printed Lights, & More

We’re starting with business in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as RadTech announced new board members and Ziggzagg is investing in AM-Flow’s workflow automation technology. Cults3D was recently in hot...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.