Description: In the present decade, the possibilities enabled by 3D printing and scanning have led to an industrial revolution in prototyping and the production industry as well as in households. Predictably, this new way of simple, tailored fabrication will have an enormous impact when applied to the fields of personalized medicine and synthetic biology. Bio-printing has the potential to meet the huge global demand for replacement organs and therefore to greatly increase the life quality of elderly people. Successfully developing bio-printing requires a strongly interdisciplinary team for a harmonized development, including: i) bio-printers with special print heads, ii) BioInk composed of proteins providing mechanical stability, and iii) cells that need to be understood, engineered and adapted by means of Synthetic Biology. We will transform an affordable household 3D printer into a bio-printer for Synthetic Biology applications. This includes engineering a printhead for bioprinting and adapting the 3D printer software, through which bioprinters will be made accessible for a broad scientific community. Additionally, our team has developed a new BioInk that is based on the ability of proteins to specifically interact with their clients: The challenge is to develop a BioInk that remains fluid in the printhead and will rapidly assemble when printed to provide mechanical stability. Our new approach utilizes the affinity between biotin and the biotin-binding proteins streptavidin and avidin -- the strongest non-covalent interaction in biology. In employing this tight molecular interaction, our team has designed an innovative dual-component “protein glue” (BioInk) that opens unprecedented opportunities for the field of bio-printing. Regarding the third main field, we will use genetically engineered cells for bio-printing. We have engineered tunable cellular membrane proteins that allow the cells to interact with the surrounding matrix formed by our new BioInk. Subsequently, we will engineer functions into our printed cells that allow the printed tissue to be employed to treat different diseases. For a controlled release of these chosen therapeutic proteins, we have also used existing knowledge on optigenetics to render production of these therapeutic proteins inducible by illuminating the therapeutic implant with a tissue-penetrating lamp.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16