Access to Rapid Magnetic 3D Printing of Human Cells May Revolutionize Research Labs

The development of 3D printing within the biological sector may mean the end of using animals for medical testing.

Earlier this year, a team of engineers from McMaster University in Canada developed a 3D printing technique that uses magnets to rapidly create artificial tumors which allows researchers to test new therapies and drugs.

This invention will also allow for personalized medications to match symptoms, instead of receiving the standardised one-size-fits-all treatments, as 3D printed cells can be manipulated to suit different researches.

The Engineers believe this new technique will allow researchers to create accurate 3D cell clusters with various cells layers to better match conditions inside the human body for regenerative medicine research.

According to a study published in Science Partner Journal, they (the engineers) were able to print 3D cancer tumor cells within six hours using the method.

If this method is to be successful,  this will eliminate the need for animals during studies altogether. After all, replicating 3D structures of human tissues will give researchers more accurate information about a medication’s results as it is closer to human biology than using animals.

The technology will also speed up the process of drug development by replacing the simpler testing on human cells in Petri dishes; further saving hundreds of millions of dollars from getting wasted on unsuccessful drug candidates that fail during human clinical trials.

“We have developed an engineering solution to overcome current biological limitations. It has the potential to expedite tissue engineering technology and regenerative medicine,” said Sarah Mishriki, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Biomedical Engineering and lead author. “The ability to rapidly manipulate cells in a safe, controllable and non-contact manner allows us to create the unique cell landscapes and microarchitectures found in human tissues, without the use of a scaffold.”

“This magnetic method of producing 3D cell clusters takes us closer to rapidly and economically creating more complex models of biological tissues, speeding discovery in academic labs and technology solutions for industry,” said Rakesh Sahu, a research associate.

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