The Lattice #47: June 8th, 2020

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The Lattice is 3DHEALS weekly recap of the latest developments, expert insights, academic publications, upcoming events in the world of healthcare 3D printing and biofabrication.  Have a cool 3D printed Lattice photo to share with us? Share @3dheals on Instagram or Twitter

About the Lattice this week: Innovative 3D printed orthopedic implant design by the author of this week’s Expert Corner blog, professor Milan Brandt from @RMIT.

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Email: Rance Tino ( if you want to pen an Expert Corner blog for us or want to share relevant news with us.


Related Articles:

Interview with Dr. Alan Dang, co-Founder of PrinterPrezz

Print Bright like A Diamond: New materials for Medical Manufacturing

3D Printing Design for COVID-19 Show Notes and Recordings

Australian Regulatory Updates for 3D Printed Medical Devices and Implants

Orthopedics: The New Automobile?


3D-printers. Working principles, different types and pros and cons. [Recorded Webinar] May 14th, 2020 

AM Medical Virtual Summit: Northeastern University & OPM Discuss Bacterial Inhibition via 3D-Printed PEKK May 29th, 2020

SynDaver launches U.S.-made 3D printer featuring extensive feature set, industry-leading 3-year warrantyJune 1st, 2020

Mayo Clinic Creates Free 3D-Printed Spine Surgery Simulator for Medical TrainingJune 2nd, 2020

BIOMODEX appoints medtech industry veteran Karl Schweitzer as new Board Chair June 2nd, 2020

Lung Operation on Young Girl in Israel aided by 3D-printing June 3rd, 2020 

World first in 3D printing gives a personal touch to keep the blood flowing June 4th, 2020

Making the cut: 3D Systems and GF Machining optimise the workflow for 3D printed spinal cages June 5th, 2020

Regenerative Medicine Gets Weaving June 5th, 2020


Conditioning of 3D Printed Nanoengineered Ionic–Covalent Entanglement Scaffolds with iP‐hMSCs Derived Matrix – Authored by C. Sears, E. Mondragon, Z. I. Richards,  N. Sears, D. Chimene,  E. P. McNeill, C. A. Gregory, A. K. Gaharwar, R. Kaunas. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 08 March 2020

Schematic illustration of the development of NICE and bioconditioned NICE (bNICE) scaffolds. A) Nanocomposite reinforcement between nSil and cross-linked GelMA and the ionic–covalent entanglement of the independent polymeric networks of κCA and GelMA allows for NICE ink to be both elastic and highly printable. B) iP-hMSCs were seeded on NICE scaffolds and cultured in the presence of GW9662 for 10 days followed by decellularization. The scaffolds modified with iP-hMSC-derived ECM, or bNICE, were seeded with hMSCs and evaluated in vitro for osteogenic differentiation after 8 and 21 days of culture. Copyright. Advanced Healthcare Materials


Additive manufacturing is a promising method for producing customized 3D bioactive constructs for regenerative medicine. Here, 3D printed highly osteogenic scaffolds using nanoengineered ionic–covalent entanglement ink (NICE) for bone tissue engineering are reported. This NICE ink consists of ionic–covalent entanglement reinforced with Laponite, a 2D nanosilicate (nSi) clay, allowing for the printing of anatomic‐sized constructs with high accuracy. The 3D printed structure is able to maintain high structural stability in physiological conditions without any significant swelling or deswelling. The presence of nSi imparts osteoinductive characteristics to the NICE scaffolds, which is further augmented by depositing pluripotent stem cell‐derived extracellular matrix (ECM) on the scaffolds. This is achieved by stimulating human induced pluripotent stem cell‐derived mesenchymal stem cells (iP‐hMSCs) with 2‐chloro‐5‐nitrobenzanilide, a PPARγ inhibitor that enhances Wnt pathway, resulting in the deposition of an ECM characterized by high levels of collagens VI and XII found in anabolic bone. The osteoinductive characteristics of these bioconditioned NICE (bNICE) scaffolds is demonstrated through osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells. A significant increase in the expression of osteogenic gene markers as well as mineralized ECM are observed on bioconditioned NICE (bNICE) scaffolds compared to bare scaffolds (NICE). The bioconditioned 3D printed scaffolds provide a unique strategy to design personalized bone grafts for in situ bone regeneration.

3D bioprinting of collagen to rebuild components of the human heart – Authored by A. Lee, R. Hudson. J. Shiwarski, J. W. Tashman, T. J. Hinton, S. Yerneni, J. M. Bliley, P. G. Campbell, A. W. Feinberg. Research Reports in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2 August 2019. 

Stay tune for Professor Adam Feinberg  at 3DHEALS2020.

Organ-scale FRESH 3D bioprinting of tri-leaflet heart valve, multiscale vasculature, and neonatal-scale human hear Copyright. Science


Collagen is the primary component of the extracellular matrix in the human body. It has proved challenging to fabricate collagen scaffolds capable of replicating the structure and function of tissues and organs. We present a method to 3D-bioprint collagen using freeform reversible embedding of suspended hydrogels (FRESH) to engineer components of the human heart at various scales, from capillaries to the full organ. Control of pH-driven gelation provides 20-micrometer filament resolution, a porous microstructure that enables rapid cellular infiltration and microvascularization, and mechanical strength for fabrication and perfusion of multiscale vasculature and tri-leaflet valves. We found that FRESH 3D-bioprinted hearts accurately reproduce patient-specific anatomical structure as determined by micro–computed tomography. Cardiac ventricles printed with human cardiomyocytes showed synchronized contractions, directional action potential propagation, and wall thickening up to 14% during peak systole.

3D Bioprinting Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Neural Tissues Using a Novel Fibrin Bioink Containing Drug Releasing Microspheres – Authored by Ruchi Sharma, Imke P. M. Smits, Laura De La Vega, Christopher Lee and Stephanie M. Willerth. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 11 February 2020

Stay tune for Dr. Stephanie Willerth at 3DHEALS2020.

Immunocytochemistry was performed after 30 days of culture on the cells embedded in different layers of bioprinted constructs for the following markers: TUJ1 (an early marker for neurons shown in red), TH (a dopaminergic neuron marker shown in green), and the nuclear stain DAPI shown in blue. Copyright. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology


3D bioprinting combines cells with a supportive bioink to fabricate multiscale, multi-cellular structures that imitate native tissues. Here, we demonstrate how our novel fibrin-based bioink formulation combined with drug releasing microspheres can serve as a tool for bioprinting tissues using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Microspheres, small spherical particles that generate controlled drug release, promote hiPSC differentiation into dopaminergic neurons when used to deliver small molecules like guggulsterone. We used the microfluidics based RX1 bioprinter to generate domes with a 1 cm diameter consisting of our novel fibrin-based bioink containing guggulsterone microspheres and hiPSC-derived NPCs. The resulting tissues exhibited over 90% cellular viability 1 day post printing that then increased to 95% 7 days post printing. The bioprinted tissues expressed the early neuronal marker, TUJ1 and the early midbrain marker, Forkhead Box A2 (FOXA2) after 15 days of culture. These bioprinted neural tissues expressed TUJ1 (15 ± 1.3%), the dopamine marker, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) (8 ± 1%) and other glial markers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (15 ± 4%) and oligodendrocyte progenitor marker (O4) (4 ± 1%) after 30 days. Also, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis showed these bioprinted tissues expressed TUJ1, NURR1 (gene expressed in midbrain dopaminergic neurons), LMX1B, TH, and PAX6 after 30 days. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that using a microsphere-laden bioink to bioprint hiPSC-derived NPCs can promote the differentiation of neural tissue.

Controlled packing and single-droplet resolution of 3D-printed functional synthetic tissues – Authored by Alessandro Alcinesio, Oliver J. Meacock, Rebecca G. Allan, Carina Monico, Vanessa Restrepo Schild, Idil Cazimoglu, Matthew T. Cornall, Ravinash Krishna Kumar & Hagan Bayley, Nature Communications, 30 April 2020

The geometry of droplet replicas confirms hexagonal close packing. a–c Bright-field microscopy images of a 3D-printed droplet network d 3D reconstruction of droplet shapes from confocal microscopy of the hcp region in c, which contained 14 clustered droplets e, f A computer model of a trapezo-rhombic dodecahedron—the space-filling polyhedron of hexagonal close packing—viewed from below (e) (compare the white box in d) and above (f). g–i A droplet sectioned through the z-axis from bottom to top, with (inset) computer models of trapezo-rhombic dodecahedra showing 2D sections of three-fold (g, i) and six-fold (h) symmetry. Copyright. Nature Communications


3D-printing networks of droplets connected by interface bilayers are a powerful platform to build synthetic tissues in which functionality relies on precisely ordered structures. However, the structural precision and consistency in assembling these structures is currently limited, which restricts intricate designs and the complexity of functions performed by synthetic tissues. Here, we report that the equilibrium contact angle (θDIB) between a pair of droplets is a key parameter that dictates the tessellation and precise positioning of hundreds of picolitre-sized droplets within 3D-printed, multi-layer networks. When θDIB approximates the geometrically-derived critical angle (θc) of 35.3°, the resulting networks of droplets arrange in regular hexagonal close-packed (hcp) lattices with the least fraction of defects. With this improved control over droplet packing, we can 3D-print functional synthetic tissues with single-droplet-wide conductive pathways. Our new insights into 3D droplet packing permit the fabrication of complex synthetic tissues, where precisely positioned compartments perform coordinated tasks.


[NIH 3D print Exchange: 3D model database] COVID-19 Supply Chain Response Updated June 6th, 2020

A critical review of initial 3D printed products responding to COVID-19 health and supply chain challenges may 13th, 2020 

3D scanning app generates customized 3D printed mask fitter May 28th, 2020

New French Organization Covid3D Creates 24-7 3D Printing Factory for 40 Hospitals June 4th, 2020

3D printing company strikes gold with idea that copper can stop the spread of COVID-19 June 3rd, 2020

3DHEALS Weekly Newsletter (The Lattice) Archive