Newly developed 3D printed tissues could advance cancer research

UBC Okanagan prof. says the technique is a valuable new tool

Researchers from UBC’s Okanagan campus hope to make advances in tissue replacement and cancer research through a new technology that can produce living, 3D printed bio-tissues.

“One of the ultimate goals in biomedical engineering is to recreate viable, healthy and living tissues,” said engineering professor Keekyoung Kim, in a press release.

“The applications are staggering and could range from helping people suffering from ailments such as severe burns or organ failure to creating artificial tissues for research into diseases like cancer.”

RELATED: UBC OKANAGAN SEES UPTICK IN ENROLMENT

Much like weaving a tapestry, Kim and his team devised a method of using an inexpensive laser diode to solidify a water-based gel into a complex cross-linked pattern. The engineered tissue provides not only strength but also a structure where living cells can live and thrive.

The new system, called direct laser bio-printing, is able to print artificial tissue at a much finer resolution than what’s currently possible and can support healthy, living cells with 95 per cent effectiveness.

“These findings show a promising future for tissue engineering and medical research,” said Kim. “We’re already looking at applying the technology to cancer research.”

RELATED: STUDENTS UPSET WITH REACTION TO HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS

According to Kim, there is considerable demand for biological models where researchers can grow cancer cells in three dimensions. He says that living cells are highly sensitive to chemical, mechanical, and biological conditions that are only present in a 3D environment.

Kim’s research, which was an interdisciplinary project from UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering and Department of Chemistry, tested the artificial tissue’s ability to support healthy cells by building a pattern that encapsulated a commonly used line of breast cancer cells.

“The tissue pattern, which has extremely fine features and high cell viability, firmly demonstrates that our system has real potential to create functional, engineered tissue,” he said. “I’m excited by what this could bring to biomedical research.”

Kim worked with fellow engineering professor Jonathan Holzman and chemistry professor Fred Menard along with graduate students Zongje Wang and Xian Jin to develop the new system.

According to Holzman, this field of research is perfectly suited to interdisciplinary research.

“Bio-tissue printing applies knowledge in biology, chemistry, and microfabrication toward the health sciences,” said Holzman. “I think our recent success in bio-tissue printing came about from the multidisciplinary nature of our team.”

The research, published recently in Advanced Healthcare Materials, was supported by Discovery Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Opportunity Fund.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Another public meeting slated for Armstrong golf course plan

Proposed development for Royal York Golf Course drew more than 250 people over first three days

Vernon’s Tolko Industries backs Orange Shirt Day contest

Art contest is open to kids from kindergarten to Grade 12

Vernon Vipers announce exhibition schedule

Snakes to play 12 games prior to December against Salmon Arm, West Kelowna and Penticton

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Most Read