In 1983, Charles Hullinvented stereolithography for printing human organs which recently resulted in promising field of Bioprinting that can be used for the generation of severaltypes of cells, tissues and organs. The 3D bioprinting can guide major innovations in diverse areas of art, manufacturing, education, engineering, medicine and pharmaceuticals.
Bioprintingis three-dimensional multidisciplinary printing that covers all aspects of 3D fabrication technology including biological cells, tissues and organs for medical and biotechnological applications. 3D bioprinting is a broad-spectrum field of generating biological tissue and organs by layering living cells. The current medicalbio-printingtechnology uses different types of biomaterialsfor cell, tissue or organfabrication like metals, ceramics, hard polymers and other stiff composites or soft polymers such as hydrogels. Dissolvable hydrogel widely dispensed to support, protect cells and act as fillers to fill empty spaces as tissues are constructed vertically. The solid surface substrate made up of biocompatible materials and the scaffold obtained by computed tomography or other imaging technology generates 3D tissues and organs.
In recent times, bioprinting of three dimensional models simulates natural micro-environment of live human cells, demonstrating and achieving effectivein vitroand in vivo representation and replication. The printed organs and tissues are designed to mimic the exact target cellular density with proper consideration to extracellular matrix, cellular component and three dimensional spatial components for natural architectural arrangement. The positive impact of technological advancement in digital design and imaging technology in 3D bioprinting is attained by visualising and reproducing very heterogeneously complex architectural arrangement of tissues and organs. The 3D bioprinters deposit various types of co-cultured cells in the form of bio-inks and spatial arrangement at an enhanced speed. 3D digital images of complex tissues and organs are printed using techniques like micro-extrusion, inkjet and laser-assisted printing. The 3D printing and material science innovations have enabled construction of complex 3D functional living constructs of tissues and organs.
3D bioprinting allows generation of several important tissues such as skin, bones, heart tissue,etc. with no fear of rejection. The lucrative applications of 3D bio-printed models include more reliable research and development into pharmaceutical and drug discovery. The most important feature of 3D bioprinting is the accurate reproduction of the tissues or organs for ultimate standardisation of therapeutic testing.
Application of 3D Bioprinting in Oncology Research
Oncology research studies on animal and cell culture models are critical instruments in determining the safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetics or dynamics and mode of action of novel anti-cancer treatments. Due to ethical concerns associated with human therapeutic experimentation in oncology research, animal models and in-vitro cell culture studies have become an important source of information. The heterogeneity of the tumour cells is responsible for the huge diversity, high degree of genetic instability and phenotypic variation. Animal and cell culture models have the restricted or limited ability to mimic the complex process of human pathophysiology and cell proliferation conditions. The misleading results with respect to inaccuracies in toxicity or efficacy, potency, carcinogenicity and genotoxicity are associated with animal or cell culture studies. The financial cost of clinical trials plays a decisive role in research and development of the successful therapeutics.
Oncology research currently deploys two-dimensional (2D) methods that principally rely on cell cultures and animal models. These methodologies in laboratory settings have shown significant advancement in developing novel experimental anticancer agents with promising therapeutic activity. Clinicians continue to struggle with clinical management and treatment of cancer due to disappointing translational success attributed mainly to poor and restricted representation or recreation of cancer microenvironment of human neoplasia. 3D bioprinting allows innovative advancement in the frontiers of oncology research to herald a progressive era of clinical cancer management and therapeutics.
The tissues and organs bio-printed provide viable substitutes to animal models and cell cultures. Three-dimensional (3D) bio-printed structures produce significant cost reductions and better models of themicroenvironment in oncology research. Novel and innovative 3D cell printing technology can help develop tumour modelsuseful in studying cancer physiology and cell biology. Bio-printed 3D models closely match, recreate or represent the natural organs in comparison to cell culture models. Sorting out the challenges in 3D bioprinting associated with biocompatible material requirements, cell sources, autonomous maturation, proper vascularisation and continuous functionality of the construct can increase success rate in oncology therapeutic research.
Online Course at JLI
James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program in Professional Diploma in Clinical Trial Management (PDCTM)for better understanding of oncology research.
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