Nav: Home

Rapid magnetic 3D printing of human cells

March 23, 2019

Imagine being able to visit your physician, and instead of being given a one-size-fits-all treatment, you are given a specifically customized medication for your symptoms.

A team of McMaster University engineers has found a way to use 3D printing technology to create artificial tumours to help researchers test new drugs and therapies, which could lead to personalized medicine.

Currently, for researchers to study human health, testing is very expensive and time consuming.

Research to learn about diseases is typically conducted in laboratory environments, for instance by creating a single layer of human or animal cells -- 2D models -- to test drugs and how they impact human cells. Alternatively, animal models are used to study the progression of disease.

If realistic 3D cell clusters, with several layers of cells, can be produced that better mimic conditions inside the body, then this has the potential to eliminate the use of animals in testing.

Led by Ishwar K. Puri, a professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, the McMaster team has developed a new method that uses magnets to rapidly print 3D cell clusters.

To do this, the McMaster team used magnetic properties of different materials including cells. Some materials are strongly attracted, or susceptible, to magnets than others. Materials with higher magnetic susceptibility will experience stronger attraction to a magnet and move towards it. The weakly attracted material with lower susceptibility is displaced to lower magnetic field regions that lie away from the magnet.

By designing magnetic fields and carefully arranged magnets, it is possible to use the differences in the magnetic susceptibilities of two materials to concentrate only one within a volume.

The team formulated bioinks by suspending human breast cancer cells in a cell culture medium that contained the magnetic salt hydrate, Gd-DTPA. Like most cells, these breast cancer cells are much more weakly attracted by magnets than Gd-DTPA, which is an FDA-approved MRI contrast agent for use in humans. Therefore, when a magnetic field is applied, the salt hydrate moves towards the magnets, displacing the cells to a predetermined area of minimum magnetic field strength. This seeds the formation of a 3D cell cluster.

Using this method, the team printed 3D cancer tumours within six hours. Tests were performed to confirm that the salt hydrate is nontoxic to cells, and they are now working on more complex bioinks to print cell clusters that can better mimic human tissues.

In future, tumours containing cancer cells could be rapidly created through 3D printing, and responses of these artificial tumours to drugs rapidly tested, with scores of experiments being conducted simultaneously. Printing human-like cell clusters also offers a future pathway for the 3D printing of multiple tissues and organs.

Their study, "Rapid magnetic 3D printing of cellular Structures with MCF-7 cell inks," was published in the February 4 issue of Research, a Science partner journal.

"We have developed an engineering solution to overcome current biological limitations. It has the potential to expedite tissue engineering technology and regenerative medicine," said Sarah Mishriki, a PhD candidate in the School of Biomedical Engineering and lead author. "The ability to rapidly manipulate cells in a safe, controllable and non-contact manner allows us to create the unique cell landscapes and microarchitectures found in human tissues, without the use of a scaffold."

"This magnetic method of producing 3D cell clusters takes us closer to rapidly and economically creating more complex models of biological tissues, speeding discovery in academic labs and technology solutions for industry," said Rakesh Sahu, a research associate.
-end-


McMaster University

Related Cancer Cells Articles:

Drug that keeps surface receptors on cancer cells makes them more visible to immune cells
A drug that is already clinically available for the treatment of nausea and psychosis, called prochlorperazine (PCZ), inhibits the internalization of receptors on the surface of tumor cells, thereby increasing the ability of anticancer antibodies to bind to the receptors and mount more effective immune responses.
Engineered bone marrow cells slow growth of prostate and pancreatic cancer cells
In experiments with mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have slowed the growth of transplanted human prostate and pancreatic cancer cells by introducing bone marrow cells with a specific gene deletion to induce a novel immune response.
First phase i clinical trial of CRISPR-edited cells for cancer shows cells safe and durable
Following the first US test of CRISPR gene editing in patients with advanced cancer, researchers report these patients experienced no negative side effects and that the engineered T cells persisted in their bodies -- for months.
Zika virus' key into brain cells ID'd, leveraged to block infection and kill cancer cells
Two different UC San Diego research teams identified the same molecule -- αvβ5 integrin -- as Zika virus' key to brain cell entry.
Plant-derived SVC112 hits cancer stem cells, leaves healthy cells alone
Study shows Colorado drug SVC112 stops production of proteins that cancer stem cells need to survive and grow.
Changes in the metabolism of normal cells promotes the metastasis of ovarian cancer cells
A systematic examination of the tumor and the tissue surrounding it -- particularly normal cells in that tissue, called fibroblasts -- has revealed a new treatment target that could potentially prevent the rapid dissemination and poor prognosis associated with high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC), a tumor type that primarily originates in the fallopian tubes or ovaries and spreads throughout the abdominal cavity.
The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs.
White blood cells related to allergies may also be harnessed to destroy cancer cells
A new Tel Aviv University study finds that white blood cells which are responsible for chronic asthma and modern allergies may be used to eliminate malignant colon cancer cells.
Conversion of breast cancer cells into fat cells impedes the formation of metastases
An innovative combination therapy can force malignant breast cancer cells to turn into fat cells.
Breast cancer cells in mice tricked into turning into fat cells
As cancer cells respond to cues in their microenvironment, they can enter a highly plastic state in which they are susceptible to transdifferentiation into a different type of cell.
More Cancer Cells News and Cancer Cells Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.