MINIaturized JOINT structures and 3D-living microfluidics to study cartilage degenerative diseases MINI-JOINT
Ginés Rodriguez, Núria
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In recent years, advances in fabrication techniques and 3D printing have allowed development in advanced in-vitro models as bioreactors. 3D bioprinting enables the manufacturing of complex and intricate architectures that have been unprecedented until recently. Their deployment tailors designs and prototypes while integrating cell culture and hydrogel development in micro-perfused platforms. These novel platforms allow the establishment and perfusion of 3D bioprinted cellular scaffolds, which have proven to be more efficient in tissue engineering than traditional 2D cell culture. 3D scaffolds tend to derive from hydrogels, which are highly tuneable, natural or synthetic water-based matrixes that allow for functionalization with extracellular matrix-like molecules and cues. Physiologic microenvironments are highly complex, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions maintain homeostasis in native tissue. When homeostatic interactions are lost, the microenvironment shifts to a diseased state. To cure a disease, it is important to understand the intricate complexity of these microenvironments. In-vitro models try to recapitulate physiologic microenvironments to better understand the disease progression and how to restore the healthy state. In this project, biofabrication and tissue engineering techniques are combined to advance the field of bioreactor-like in-vitro models for inflammatory diseases of the knee joint environment. Volumetric bioprinting is a novel 3D printing technique, here optimized for BM-hMSC scaffolds for trabecular bone. Candidate materials for the osteochondral interface are assayed. A two-chamber bioreactor is custom designed and assembled to perfuse a bone and a cartilage compartment independently with an engineered osteochondral interface as a physical barrier.