Tag Archive: BioInk

  1. New generation RGD functionalised bioink from Biogelx

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    Arginylglycylaspartic acid (RGD) is the most common peptide motif responsible for cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). RGD is a universally used tool in the construction of multifunctional “smart” materials, such as peptide-based hydrogels, and is found in many applications in biological research and medical devices.

    Biogelx™ technology is based on a two-peptide system: a hydrophobic ‘gelator’ peptide and a hydrophilic ‘surfactant’. The “surfactant” functionality of the peptide fibres can be modified to incorporate various biomimetic peptide sequences from key extracellular matrix proteins, one such peptide being RGD. The clinical potential of Biogelx hydrogel technology incorporating this cell-adhesion peptide was demonstrated in a recently published study focused on the development of a novel spinal cord repair strategy.

    Biogelx’s new generation RGD functionalised bioink offers the same benefit as the company’s original RGD functionalised hydrogel product (Biogelx™-RGD), but it has been developed with printability in mind. The Biogelx™-INK-RGD prints without the need for temperature or pH adjustment, UV curing, or addition of reactive cross-linking reagents, all of which can be detrimental to the health of cells. The gelation is simply triggered by the addition of cell culture media; thus, users have complete control of the process.

    Biogelx™-INK-RGD is very easy-to-handle. The product is provided as a lyophilized peptide powder and a Biogelx™-PREP solution, used to prepare the final bioink formulation.  Thanks to this easy-to-use format this bioink powder are stable for one year providing customers with no waste. Preparation of the bioink is very straightforward. Simply take the Biogelx™-INK, mix the powder with the preparation solution at room temperature, store the pre-gel solution at 40C overnight, add Ca2+containing cell culture media, incubate at 370C, and then start printing.

    Biogelx™’s RGD functionalised bioink has been designed to work easily and accurately with both extrusion-based and ink-jet printers to produce high-quality and reliable prints. The controllable physical properties of this product, together with the biocompatibility of the peptide building blocks guarantees both cell viability and printability. No other RGD functionalised bioink offers the versatility to mechanically tune the matrix scaffold reliably and consistently to specific 3D cell culture applications.

    Do you want to know how our new Biogelx™-INK-RGD could best support you in your research? Contact our business development manager!


  2. Smart Bioinks for bioengineering living tissues

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    Bioprinting is a promising technology to enable the design of more realistic tissue models. Since such printed models can be produced with patient-specific cells containing patient-specific genetic information they can provide a more accurate diagnostic tools to probe and monitor human pathobiology. If the printed materials are able to dynamically alter their properties over time to meet the changing needs of the embedded cells they will allow long-term cellular adaptation and tissue maturation, such as in a living tissue. To achieve such results, the use of smart bioink materials is essential.

    Hydrogels are the gold-standard materials used as bioinks in bioprinting. They can beof natural or synthetic origin. Naturally-derived gels, such as collagen-based materials, are cell-compatible solutions often used for mimicking tissues containing collagen like cartilage, bone, skin etc. Fibrin-based gels have been extensively used for cardiovascular applications. Recombinant elastin-like gels have been employed for cartilage and neural tissue engineering. Interestingly, gels composed of synthetic polymers (e.g. PEG, PLA) or peptides have also been used to create engineered mimics of many of these same tissue types, despite their different structural and chemical properties, compared to natural gels.

    Both classes of hydrogel have their own merits; however, when using bioprinting, you have to consider the chosen bioink material’s flow rheology, final matrix mechanics, and matrix biochemistry when selecting one to engineer advanced tissue models since the ability to optimise these material properties is what ultimately defines the potential applicability of each bioink.

    Recently, researchers have turned to designing mixtures of natural and synthetic monomers, as well as functional additives to match the initial rheological, final mechanical, and biochemical demands of 3D bioprinting. However, it is not clear whether they allow long-term cellular adaptation and tissue maturation. In contrast, smart bioinks, capable of dynamically alter the material properties over time have the potential to interact with living organisms through reciprocal feedback, where the hydrogel instructs the organism and the organism causes the hydrogel to adapt. Thus, future bioinks may be able to adapt and “mature” along with the maturation of encapsulated cells to form truly functional tissue

    Smart bioinks often include peptide and protein molecules found in the natural extracellular matrix. These molecular recognition motifs enable cell-surface receptors to bind to the bioink, allowing cell-detection of matrix mechanics. These smart materials’ rheological properties and gelation kinetics can be controlled by varying their monomer concentration or supplementing with additives to reduce printing-related cell damage. Smart bioinks do not only have excellent printability and shape-fidelity, but some might enable reversible switching of their rheological properties to support complex, hierarchical structures. Furthermore, the smart bioinks may enable more efficient application of mechanical stimulation to encapsulated cells to simulate external forces exerted in shearing, compressing, or stretching bioreactors.

    By combining dynamic control of hydrogel mechanics and biochemistry with synthetic biology, smart bioinks have a high potential to form truly functional tissues. However, in these newly bioinspired ecosystems, the roles and tasks of cells and biomaterials might need to be newly defined.


    Source: Blaeser et al. (2019) Smart Bioinks as de novo Building Blocks to Bioengineer Living Tissues, Gels 5(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels5020029


  3. Swim in Biogelx bioinks this summer!

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    Earlier this year we launched our novel Biogelx™-INK formulations for use in 3D Bioprinting. These bioinks have Biogelx’s self-assembling peptide hydrogel technology at their core, and have been developed for optimal printability. Read more about Biogelx™-INKs below to see how our bioinks support cell growth and ensure ideal rheological properties for printing.

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    Product description:

    Biogelx™-INKs are made up of only short, well-characterized peptide sequences, but they are synthetically made and fully defined, thus, they provide reproducibility and batch-to-batch consistency.

    Biogelx™-INKs are provided as a lyophilized peptide powder and come with Biogelx™-PREP solution, which is used to prepare the final bioink formulation. They offer excellent shape fidelity with easy viscosity control: Biogelx™-INKs 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.

    Biogelx™-INKs are very easy-to-use. Gelation is triggered by addition of the cell culture media of your choice. No specific temperature, pH adjustment, UV light curing or addition of any reactive cross-linking reagents are required.

    Biogelx™-INKs are functionalized with biochemical ligands from key extracellular matrix proteins such as fibronectin and collagen to optimize the biocompatibility of the nanofibrous peptide bioink and provide the best printable cell environment.

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