The main objective of PRINT4LIFE is to develop scaffolds for the treatment of complex critical size bone defects in a patient-specific manner, able to respond to the challenging needs of patients affected by complex situations derived from osteoporosis, osteomyelitis or cancer. PRINT4LIFE proposes a combinatorial approach using the most recent progresses in 3D ink-jet printing technology together with advanced therapies such as drug delivery and tissue engineering, and covers from the development of bioinks to the direct printing of customized scaffolds, including the characterisation of their physical and chemical properties and their pre-clinical evaluation. The project includes: 1) The design of bioinks with different compositions and biological activities capable of rendering the cues needed to enhance bone regeneration, including biomimetic self-setting ceramic inks, and hydrogels containing or not mineral nanoparticles. The following challenges will be addressed: i) to develop biomimetic ceramic inks able to harden at low temperature, without need of sintering, in a clinically acceptable period of time, with high resolution, stability and reproducibility; ii) to develop multifunctional hydrogel bioinks endorsed with particular biological functionalities through incorporation of growth factors, ions and nanoparticles to enhance bone regeneration. In this sense, a particular challenge that will be addressed is to exploit the lethal effects of highly reactive species generated by APP in liquid media on bone cancer cells, to develop hydrogel inks acting as vehicles to deliver APP species and if required, coadjuvant low doses of chemotherapeutic drugs. 2) The development of 3D ink-jet printed scaffolds with complex 3D architectures and a tailored local distribution of various biological components, i.e. biologically active molecules and cells. Specifically, we seek to produce: i) on-site (in-hospital) 3D-printed ready-to use biomimetic ceramic scaffolds, printed following the geometry of the bone defect obtained by CT or NMR; ii) scaffolds with intercalated ceramic/hydrogel structures, which will allow tuning the mechanical properties and the osteogenic capacity of the 3D structures; iii) core-shell structures for dual release and cell encapsulation. Particularly relevant will be the development of prevascularised 3D scaffolds through simultaneous printing of biomimetic ceramic strands alternated with tubular hydrogel structures including endothelial cells that will act as pre-vascularised strands.
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco