Explorer Grant (2017 funding round)

Dr Jaydee Cabral
University of Otago, Dunedin
Developing the holy grail of bioprinting: vascularization
24 months

Lay summary

The effective treatment of acute, deep tissue and/or nonhealing wounds (e.g. pressure ulcers) poses a massive challenge to clinicians around the world. Researchers are looking to three-dimensional bioprinting of human skin for the solution. However, one key ingredient remains elusive: the vascularisation of bioprinted tissue.

Our team is in the enviable position of being able to realise vascularisation through the modification of our patented surgical gel technology to create novel, biomimetic custom made bioinks. These bioinks will be printed via core/shell extrusion technology to mimic native microenvironments, including a biomimetic scaffold and synthetic, biocompatible "vessels" made from a polymer lined with endothelial cells. A patient’s own bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells will be coprinted to populate the microenvironment in a customised manner, enabling the growth of fully functioning, vascularised skin. We anticipate that this paradigm shifting research will successfully address a major problem in the development of bioprinted tissue.

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