Emerging Technology in Cardiovascular Medicine
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With recent advances made in research, we are at a revolutionary and challenging period for 3-dimensional (3D) bioprinting, where a single device (printer) can deposit and layer building blocks of bioink (a composition of cells and structural scaffolds). A key advantage of 3D bioprinting is the ability to produce complex designs from a computer-aided file, making it possible to generate identical copies of patient tissues and organs within 3D space. A wide range of biomaterials are used for 3D printing; similarly, different types of bioprinters have been developed to deposit bioink. Thermal inkjet utilizes a thermal resistor and heat to force down the printing material. Piezoelectric inkjet uses the same approach with a piezoelectric crystal. 3D printers with microextrusion technologies use direct mechanical energy to deposit the printing material. Acoustic picoliters, which are nozzleless bioprinters, use a liquid reservoir that can contain cells as well as a variety of biological materials underneath a series of interdigitized acoustic rings. By adjusting the frequency of acoustic pulse, the size of the droplet can be changed and reduced to sizes that contain single cells with higher cell viabilities. Laser-induced forward transfer also uses a nozzleless approach. Using a series of laser pulses and alternating layers of absorption gelatins, laser-induced forward transfer techniques aim to deliver printing material to a substrate that can result in <95% cell viability.
3D Bioprinting and Cardiac Applications
Cardiac valve replacement therapies include the use of mechanical or biological heart valves. …