Recent clinical studies performed by our group and other clinical partners in Europe, propose alternatives to conventional treatment modalities by using the concept of tissue engineering in which biomaterials (scaffolds) are used to deliver mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and/or growth factors. Although there have been some successes, bone tissue engineering needs to overcome several challenges to meet clinical and commercialization needs. Among these challenges, the limitations of scaffolding biomaterials that can resemble macro to nanoscale structures of native bone tissues.
In 3DPRENT, nanocellulose-based hydrogel will be functionalized with nano-hydroxyapatite for osteoconductivity and nanodiamond particles (nDP) to deliver vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to bioprint mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). For mechanical stability and vascularization, hydrogel layers will be reinforced with 3D printed microchannel network of a thermoplastic polymer. 3DPRENT will develop not only outstanding basic scientific knowledge but also sustainable solutions and innovations based on nanotechnology, 3D printing and stem cells thus improving health and promoting new medical technology to meet the needs of society.