Brain injuries could potentially be treated using stem cells that are produced through 3D printing.


In a groundbreaking scientific achievement, a team of researchers from the University of Oxford has successfully 3D printed stem cells that can imitate the intricate structure of the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the human brain. This pioneering technique holds the potential to revolutionize the treatment of brain injuries, as these injuries often result in significant damage to the cerebral cortex, leading to various challenges in movement, cognition, and communication.

Currently, there are no effective treatments for severe cases of brain injuries, greatly impacting the quality of life for patients. However, the Oxford research team aims to change this by creating a two-layered brain tissue using 3D printed human neural stem cells. To achieve this, they utilized human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), which can be easily derived from the patients’ own cells, thereby minimizing the risk of immune responses.

Initially, the hiPSCs were transformed into neural progenitor cells, which were then divided into two separate layers representing the cerebral cortex. These cells were suspended in a solution to create two “bioinks,” which were subsequently printed to form a two-layered structure of brain tissue. Notably, when these printed cells were implanted into mouse brains, they demonstrated both structural and functional integration with the surrounding host tissue.

Dr. Linna Zhou, the senior author of the study, emphasized the significance of their droplet printing technique, stating that it allows for the engineering of living 3D tissues with desired architectures. This achievement brings researchers one step closer to developing personalized implantation treatments for brain injuries. The team’s next goal is to further refine their technique and create multi-layered cerebral cortex tissues that more accurately mimic the complex architecture of the human brain.

Beyond the treatment of brain injuries, these 3D-printed cells also hold promise for drug evaluation and advancing our understanding of brain development and cognition. The potential applications of this breakthrough are vast, and the study has been published in the prestigious journal, Nature Communications.

In conclusion, the successful 3D printing of stem cells to mimic the architecture of the cerebral cortex represents a significant advancement in the field of brain injury treatment. The use of hiPSCs and the creation of a two-layered brain tissue provide hope for personalized therapies that can greatly improve the lives of patients. Furthermore, the potential applications of these 3D-printed cells extend beyond brain injuries, promising advancements in drug evaluation and our understanding of brain development. This groundbreaking research paves the way for a new era of medical possibilities.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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