Scottish biomaterial developer Biogelx has announced the commercial launch of its first synthetic bioink product range for 3D bioprinting. The materials, branded as Biogelx™-INKs, leverage the company’s core self-assembling peptide hydrogel technology but are developed specifically for bioprinting platforms.
Recently, we spoke to Biogelx CEO Mitch Scanlan at length about the company’s bioink development and where it fits into the ever-growing bioprinting segment. What became clear is that Biogelx sees the future of bioprinting as tied to the creation of synthetic biomaterials (as opposed to naturally derived bioinks). This, Scanlan explained, is because synthetic bioinks can be more precisely tuned and have a higher degree of repeatability and consistency than their organic counterparts.
Now, we’re getting our first glimpse at the ambitious company’s first commercial bioprinting materials.
Similar to the company’s existing hydrogel materials, the Biogelx-INKs form a nanofibrous network that mimics the extracellular matrix. When printed, the materials form scaffolds or other structures that can support cell growth, signalling and proliferation. Notably, the bioinks have been programmed for printability, meaning that they have a good viscosity for extrusion and do not require the use of support, sacrificial or curing inks.
The synthetic bioinks are also tunable, meaning that researchers can adapt their mechanical and chemical properties for different uses. For instance, the viscosity of the materials can be controlled while still ensuring complete reproducibility. The bioinks are also distinguished by their easy crosslinking method (which combines the hydrogel powder, water and calcium salts) and excellent printability.
In terms of applications, the new Biogelx-INK products can be used by researchers or pharmaceutical companies to pursue avenues in cell research, toxicology, drug screening and regenerative medicine.
“We are excited to announce the commercial availability of Biogelx-INKs,” commented Scanlan. “Providing versatility and improving research outcomes are the key focuses for our product portfolio. We look forward to supporting researchers in their mission to develop realistic 3D disease modules, tissues and organs for future pharmaceutical and medical applications.”