In an interesting – while extremely niche – combination of technologies, namely bioprinting, nanotechnology and crowfunding, NanoBioFabLab launched a campaign on “Experiment” – a science focused crowfunding portal, to finance their research, development and innovation concept focused on 3D biofabrication using nanomaterials as essential building blocks for biomimetics. In the present project, they want to know if silver nanoparticles will confer antimicrobial activity on biological scaffolds. If so, this may prevent the contamination of biological scaffolds by microorganisms.
What is the context of this research?
The NanoBioFabLab concept was born from an exhibition at Campus Party Brasilia 2017 as an innovative academic initiative. This initiative goes beyond what is currently developed in the area of 3D bioprinting, where knowledge, scientific and technological production are still very scarce and restricted to few laboratories in the world due to the high investment and also incipient scientific dissemination.
In addition, it’s known that some nanomaterials such as silver nanoparticles exhibit in vitroand in vivo antimicrobial activity; avoiding, controlling or eliminating the growth of a wide range of microorganisms. It’s currently difficult to achieve some favorable properties on a scaffold (e.g. assepsia), which are built primarily for applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
What is the significance of this project?
With biological antimicrobial scaffolds it will be possible to grow plant and animal cells without the undesired contamination by microorganisms such as bacteria. Then, we will have more sterile scaffolds and apply in the research and biomedical areas – such as implants. And all this approach intents in avoiding the contamination of the cell culture in 3D bioprinted scaffolds.
This project will help the NanoBioFabLab initiative get off the ground. With this initial investment, you will be collaborating for the development in the frontier field of 3D bioprinting. We want to overcome one by one the major challenges of this area by working simply, with low cost materials, thinking about sustainability and investing on the training and formation of human resources.
Meet the Team
Beatriz was graduated in Biotechnology from the University of Brasilia in 2016, currently is a master’s student in Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology at the same university. She has had experience in research and extension projects such as the synergistic activity of antifungal drugs in human pathogenic fungi; worked on the screening of multimedia material on the Cerrado biome; worked with green synthesis of nanomaterials. She participated as a listener in about 13 scientific events, made about 5 presentations in symposia, meetings, technology fair. She also did about 11 mini-courses in the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, plant physiology, nanobiotechnology, scientific communication, 3D printing, bioinformatics and neurosciences.
Beatriz is a member of the Laboratory of Nanobiotechnology (LNANO) of Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology since 2016. She is one of the members of the NanoBioFabLab initiative and exhibited during Campus Party Brasilia in 2017. She is currently developing her research at LNANO on 3D fabrication of functional structures and biomimetics scaffolds using nanomaterials.
“Since I was a kid I liked to learn new things, wanted to invent and build things that could make a difference in the world. After marveling at nature, science, and technology, I was amazed at how magical everything looked. Today, my dream remains the same, and every day it becomes bigger and more accomplished.” Beatriz Santos Carvalho
What are the goals of the project?
This first project of the NanoBioFabLab initiative aims to start the production of scaffolds using a 3D bioprinter. For the production of these scaffolds, we will use gelatin and chitosan as biopolymers and silver nanoparticles produced by green synthesis routes. The antimicrobial activity of the scaffolds will be evaluated according to the potential inhibition of microorganisms’ growth during periods of 24 h, 48 h and 72 h.
The NanoBioFabLab initiative is much more than one research project, it’s a concept. The first project of the NanoBioFabLab will help us establish a way to produce antimicrobial scaffolds structured by gelatin, chitosan and silver nanoparticles. In addition, it will allow us to develop future scaffolds with other biopolymers and nanomaterials.
They have been working for several years on the development of nanomaterials and biopolymers. However, they do not yet have an available 3D bioprinter to get the results we dream about. Funding for this project will contribute to the investment of human resources, such as the development of a master’s degree project. Therefore, the funds raised through this campaign are fundamental to begin the goals of our purpose in contributing to scientific, technological, and educational development.