At Biogelx, we offer bioinks with tunable mechanical properties and functionalized biochemical ligands to provide you with the best printable cell environment.
Our bioinks are reproducible and biologically active.
Biocompatibility is an essential requirement of any bioprinted scaffold. We incorporate biomimetic peptide sequences from key extracellular matrix proteins such as fibronectin and collagen to optimize the biocompatibility of our nanofibrous peptide bioink. Biogelx™-INKs contain surface ligands such as RGD and GFOGER as biological cues to mediate tissue formation and aid in guiding cell adhesion and proliferation. In essence, we provide peptide-based products that are chemically defined and thus, reproducible. Furthermore, they interact with cells in a similar way to natural materials.
Biogelx partners and collaborators have already used Biogelx™-INKs with fibroblasts, human liver cancer (HepG2), pulmonary adenocarcinoma (A549), human colon cancer (HCT116, HCT119), human MSCs, and breast cancer (MCF-7) cell lines, among others.
Our bioinks offer excellent shape fidelity with easy viscosity control.
Biogelx™ peptide hydrogel bioinks are versatile and have unique mechanical tunability, which can be adjusted by simply modifying the ratio of Biogelx-INK powder and Biogelx™-PREP solution; no chemical modifications required. The gelation of Biogelx-INKs is triggered by the addition of cell culture media, meaning the required nutrients for cells are present form the start of the printing process.
The field of skin substitutes has received growing attention over the last 5-8 years. In particular, since animal testing was banned for cosmetic products in developed countries.
The skin is complex, containing more than ten cell components. Therefore, researchers need to develop 3D models as sophisticated as possible. At a symposium of the European Centre for Dermocosmetology, Dr Sandrine Héraud R&D Project Manager at LabSkin Creation and her team introduced a skin model that reproduces the skin condition atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory disease which affects more than one infant out of ten. Dr Héraud’s team have developed an innovative model involving the use of lymphocytes and cells derived from patients with atopic dermatitis. It is the first human in vitro model of atopic dermatitis with an immunity component.
The newly introduced skin model is generated through bioprinting which offers the advantage of creating highly complex 3D structures, offering a more accurate and standardized skin model. Dr Héraud seems very optimistic about the results. “We can get a mature skin sample in 21 days, compared to 45 with an in vitro culture”- she said.
A proof-of-concept study at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) has recently demonstrated the potential of a novel 3D bioprinting strategy for treating facial wounds. Dr Sang Jin Lee associate professor of regenerative medicine and his team have developed a customised “BioMask” which can assist and accelerate the regenerative process of wound healing by using a CT image of the patient’s face.
Facial burns and wounds have both physical and psychological implications for patients and present medical trauma practitioners with serious challenges. Traditional treatments for such injuries mainly involve autografts, essentially transplanting healthy skin from the same person, or allografts, the transplantation of animal-derived, or artificial skin grafts. These technologies and skin substitutes can pose several problems, including rejection, infections, and scarring. Dr Lee’s new solution could eliminate these risks and offer faster regeneration for patients.
The developed 3D “BioMask” was printed on an in-house 3D integrated tissue-organ printing (ITOP) system at WFIRM capable of dispensing up to six different cell types and biomaterials. The printed “BioMask” consisted of three layers: “a porous polyurethane (PU) layer, a keratinocyte-laden hydrogel layer, and a fibroblast-laden hydrogel layer.” Keratinocytes are epidermal cells, and fibroblasts are dermal cells and their interactions are required for skin regeneration. The PU layer of the printed structure allowed the cell-laden components to be incorporated into a dressing which could be fitted tightly and directly onto the facial wound, like a mask. Combining 3D bioprinting with CT imaging technology means the skin substitute can be designed to fit the exact contours of the patient’s face. The concept has been effectively validated in mouse models in the lab.
“The 3D bioprinted mask could have a great clinical impact for patients by providing effective and rapid restoration of facial skin following serious burn or injury,” stated Dr Anthony Atala, CECT PI, director of WFIRM. “The bioprinting technology, combined with the face CT image, utilized for this concept allows for the fabrication of a personalized shape of a patient’s face so that we can take better care of the wound.”
3D bioprinting is the integration of cells, biocompatible materials, and printer hardware for the generation of 3D structures in the lab that are biomimetic and functional. The major challenge of this technology is the lack of printable materials possessing all the desired properties for the construction of engineered ‘bio-physical-functional’ tissues and organs. One of the opportunities to address this issue is the functionalization of bioink materials, which can vary across chemical, mechanical, physical, and biological methods.
Perhaps the most obvious specification for an ideal bioink is that it should be biocompatible and biodegradable with the capability to encourage cellular proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, the printed scaffold’s porosity and morphology need to be controllable during the printing method. Since these parameters play an important role in determining the transfer and movement of nutrient, oxygen, and waste through the engineered complex. Good mechanical properties are also vital for bioinks because the engineered tissue must prove stable over time.
Today, there is no stand-alone bioink which could support all 3D bioprinting applications as there is such a wide range of structural and physiological requirements for different tissues and organs. Having said this, functionalization is a practical way to overcome this limitation. When we talk about functionalization, we can consider different methods, such as chemical modification, blending of materials, crosslinking and exploiting functional groups.
Fuctionalization to influence mechanical properties
In the pursuit of attaining desirable mechanical properties, chemical functionalization has been explored in numerous ways including the introduction of methacrylate groups. Whilst such methods are effective in allowing the tuning of mechanical properties to match specific printing applications or structural requirements, if someone wants to replicate the complexity of a tissue with different mechanical domains, such functionalization could become time consuming and involved. As mentioned, tissues and organs are complex networks and their mechanical properties vary dramatically from the smoothness to the toughness. To print such complex networks, a bioink material with high mechanical tunability, which will enables you to easily control and change the stiffness of the printed structure is highly beneficial. If such mechanical tuning can be done without impacting the final material’s UV, temperature, or crosslinking requirements, which all directly affect the printing parameters then even better.
Biogelx™ simple peptide hydrogel bioinks provide you with unique mechanical tunability which can be adjusted by simply adjusting the ratio of Biogelx-INK powder and Biogelx™-PREP preparation solution, no extensive chemical modifications required.
Adjusting physical properties to improve printability
Printability ultimately dictates the structure of the printed construct, and encompasses parameters such as flow properties, elastic modulus, shear thinning behavior and viscoelasticity. Generally, the printability can be improved through an increase in the ink’s viscosity, decreasing the gelation time or both. Many materials can be added to improve viscosity and shape fidelity, for instance: nanocellulose, methylcellulose, hyaluronic acid, and hydroxyapatite. The gelation can be controlled by adjusting the concentration of the polymer and its crosslinking solution. Whilst many materials require reactive crosslinking solutions, which can sometimes be detrimental to the health of cells, Biogelx’s bioinks do not require reactive reagents. The gelation of these peptide-based bioinks is triggered by the addition of cell culture media, meaning the required nutrients for cells are present form the start of the printing process.
Consistent experimental results are the ideal that researchers expect and strive for, but not always achieve. Cell biology research already has many uncontrollable variables, and the biomaterial used should not be one of them. Unfortunately, however, this is still overly common, especially when using bioinks that are animal/natural-derived materials.
Does this sound familiar?
You’ve spent weeks or months optimizing an application and are getting outstanding results. It’s now time to repeat the work for a very important publication, and you need to purchase more vials of your bioink. However, this time, the cells don’t behave in the same way they did previously, and you are unable to replicate the original results.
Whilst there are advantages to utilizing naturally-derived materials due to their inherent bioactivity, they often have issues with lot-to-lot variability. This makes such materials inconsistent, which is a huge limitation to achieving reliable research results.
Biogelx™-INKs’ components are simple amino acids: short, well-characterized peptide sequences designed to provide essential cues and adhesion sites that are relevant for biocompatibility and biomimicry.
Our company operates under a Quality Management System which uses ISO 9001:2015 as a framework, enabling us to effectively control, monitor, and improve all of our processes to better satisfy your requirements and exceed your expectations. Each Biogelx™ product must meet the required specifications throughout the preparation process to comply with our high-quality standards. Once the product has passed all specifications during the preparation stages, strict QC analysis is carried out to ensure high-quality standards before dispatching the products to you.
Make your bioprinting research reproducible. Use our biocompatible bioinks.