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Researchers use Biopixlar platform to precisely bioprint neuronal cells

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The Biopixlar bioprinting platform, developed by Swedish firm Fluicell, has shown it is possible to directly print primary neurons with high precision. This enables the design and construction of neuronal patterns that better resemble connections between neurons in vivo compared to conventional cell cultures and that constitutes a powerful tool for neurological research and drug development.

These capabilities were further demonstrated by in a study published on the Scientific Reports journal, where a team of Fluicell researchers used the Biopixlar system for 3D micro-organisation printing of mammalian cells to generate biological tissues. In the study, bioprinting of primary cells was tested using acutely isolated primary rat dorsal root ganglia neurons, which survived and established processes. The presented technique was shown to offer a novel open-volume microfluidics approach to bioprint cells for the generation of biological tissues.

bioprint neuronal cells
The image shows acutely isolated primary rat dorsal root ganglia neurons (DRGs) printed in a rectangular shape (outlined in white) using Biopixlar.

The number of people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases is steadily increasing worldwide as an effect of aging population. Today, approximately 50 million people suffer from dementia, with around 10 million new cases every year. Despite extensive research efforts, there is no available treatment to cure dementia. Similar in scope, chronic pain affects at least 10% of the worlds population, corresponding to a large unmet healthcare need.

To advance research and promote the development of new treatments in these areas, there is a need for better, more physiologically relevant, in vitro research models that than can improve disease understanding and increase the efficiency of drug discovery. The high-precision bioprinting technology of Biopixlar enables researchers to create patterns by placing cells exactly where they want them.

With its microfluidic printhead that produces minimal mechanical stress on the deposited cells, Biopixlar is ideal for handling sensitive cells such as neurons. Biopixlar also prints cells directly in culture media without using any bioink resulting in higher cell viability compared to extrusion bioprinting.

bioprint neuronal cells
The image shows bioprinted primary neurons after incubation for 14 days. The cells have grown axonal projections and have formed interconnected networks.

The high bioprinting precision of Biopixlar allows you to create customized patterns of printed neurons with high resolution by placing cells right where you want them.

Biopixlar’s capacity for bioprinting of primary neuron constitutes a powerful platform for disease model generation for studies of pain, neurodegenerative diseases and other neurological disorders. Because of it’s low sample volume requirements, Biopixlar is also well suited to handle scarce samples and patient material.

“We have been using Biopixlar to develop protocols for printing of different neuronal cells types and we are very pleased with its performance,” said Mattias Karlsson, CEO Cellectricon AB. “The capability of this exciting technology to enable precise control of the cellular composition and spatial distribution within a cell culture has the potential to open up completely new avenues for in-vitro modeling of a wide range of central and peripheral nervous system-related diseases.”



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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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