Dr Shu said: "Using this valve-based method, the printed cells are driven by pneumatic pressure and controlled by the opening and closing of a microvalve. The amount of cells dispensed can be precisely controlled by changing the nozzle diameter, the inlet air pressure or the opening time of the valve.
"We found that the valve-based printing is gentle enough to maintain high stem cell viability, accurate enough to produce spheroids of uniform size, and, most importantly, the printed hESCs maintained their pluripotency the ability to be differentiated into any other cell type."
Roslin Cellab has a track record of applying new technologies to human stem cell systems and will take the lead in developing 3D stem cell printing for commercial uses.
Jason King, business development manager of Roslin Cellab, said: "This world-first printing of human embryonic stem cell cultures is a continuation of our productive partnership with Heriot-Watt. Normally laboratory grown cells grow in 2D but some cell types have been printed in 3D. However, up to now, human stem cell cultures have been too sensitive to manipulate in this way.
"This is a scientific development which we hope and believe will have immensely valuable long-term implications for reliable, animal-free drug-testing and, in the longer term, to provide organs for transplant on demand, without the need for donation and without the problems of immune suppression and potential organ rejection."
hESCs have received much attention in the field of regenerative medicine. They are originally derived from an early stage embryo to create "stem cell lines" which can be gro
|Contact: Michael Bishop|
Institute of Physics