Rice’s innovative approach to bioprinting unlocks the power of peptides.


Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi recently discussed the groundbreaking work being done at Rice University in the field of bioprinting using self-assembling peptides as bioink. In an article featured in the Spring 2023 issue of Rice Magazine, the researchers at Rice’s Hartgerink lab showcased their development of bioprinting peptides. Peptides are chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 naturally occurring amino acids that make up all the proteins in the human body.

Certain peptides, known as multidomain peptides, have the extraordinary ability to self-assemble based on their structure and chemical composition. These peptides can arrange themselves into a gelatinous material or hydrogel when in contact with water. This unique property makes them ideal for use in soft robotic projects, bioengineering, and wastewater treatment.

Researchers at Rice have been able to demonstrate the regenerative and healing properties of these peptides. They have shown that when implanted in living organisms, multidomain peptides promote high levels of cell infiltration and tissue development. These concentrated peptides can also serve as an excellent bioink for 3D printing.

The use of self-assembling peptides as bioink is a significant advancement in the field of biomedical engineering. The ability of these peptides to self-assemble allows them to reassemble after being mixed into a concentrated 3D printing material. This characteristic has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of patients with degenerative diseases and greatly improve health outcomes.

The key to this groundbreaking development lies in the fact that advanced bioink designs can use different methods of dissipating mechanical energy. This allows for the creation of next-generation, cellularized 3D scaffolds that mimic anatomical size, tissue architecture, and tissue-specific functions. These bioinks must have high 3D printing fidelity, provide a biocompatible microenvironment, and have improved mechanical properties.

To design and develop these advanced bioink formulations, researchers must understand the structure-property-function relationships of hydrogel networks. By leveraging the biophysical and biochemical characteristics of these networks, high-performance bioinks can be created to control and direct cell functions, opening up limitless possibilities for medical applications.

Hydrogels provide mechanical support to cells and encapsulate them without causing any damage. They also allow for the control of cell growth patterns and behavior. By using multiple peptides in the bioink, researchers can modify the properties to control cell behavior and incorporate various functionalities. For example, an enzyme that stimulates bone growth can be attached to the bioink. The degree of cross-linking can also be adjusted to match the properties of different tissues in the human body, allowing the bioink to mimic the properties of proteins.

Bioprinting self-assembling peptides has the potential to be a game-changer in the healthcare industry, offering new hope for patients with chronic conditions. From cancer treatment to orthopedics, the use of bioprinting technology with self-assembling peptides offers exciting possibilities for improving healthcare outcomes.

In addition to the groundbreaking advancements in the field of bioprinting, companies working on these technologies can also benefit from the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. This permanent tax credit is available for companies developing new or improved products, processes, and software. Wages for technical employees involved in creating, testing, and revising 3D printed prototypes can be included as a percentage of eligible time spent on the R&D Tax Credit. Time spent integrating 3D printing hardware and software can also be eligible. Additionally, the costs of filaments consumed during the development process may be recovered. Companies considering implementing 3D printing technology should consider taking advantage of the R&D Tax Credit.

Thanks to the pioneering researchers at Rice University and other institutions, patients who were once told they had to live with chronic conditions can now find hope for a brighter future through the use of bioprinting with self-assembling bioinks. This research represents a significant step forward in improving healthcare outcomes and revolutionizing the field of biomedical engineering.

Title: Biomedical Engineering: Unlocking Human Potential through Innovative Treatment Methods


As the field of biomedical engineering continues to evolve, the possibilities for its application in human medicine are boundless. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to recognize and support the efforts of talented teams working tirelessly to design and develop innovative treatment methods. In this blog post, we will explore the immense potential offered by biomedical engineering and discuss why providing unwavering support for these teams is essential.

Exploring New Horizons:

Biomedical engineering has long been at the forefront of groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in healthcare. From prosthetic limbs to artificial organs and tissue engineering, the field has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible in medicine. However, it is in the early stages of its evolution, and the true potential it holds for human application is only just beginning to be discovered.

Advances in Biomedical Engineering:

One of the most exciting areas of research within biomedical engineering lies in the development of innovative treatment methods. These methods aim to revolutionize how we approach various diseases and medical conditions, ultimately improving patient outcomes and quality of life. Through extensive research and development, biomedical engineering teams are exploring novel solutions that could potentially tackle some of the greatest healthcare challenges we face today.

Support is Critical:

To fully realize the potential of biomedical engineering in human medicine, it is imperative to provide unwavering support to the brilliant minds behind these revolutionary ideas. Financial backing, collaboration opportunities, and access to cutting-edge technology are all crucial aspects that aid in the progress of biomedical engineering initiatives. By supporting these teams wholeheartedly, we can collectively usher in a new era of healthcare that was previously unimaginable.

Creating Synergies:

Collaboration between biomedical engineers, medical professionals, researchers, and policymakers is essential to ensure the successful integration of innovative treatment methods into clinical practice. By fostering interdisciplinary partnerships, we can combine diverse expertise and perspectives to overcome the challenges that are inherent in transforming groundbreaking ideas into tangible medical solutions.

Ethical Considerations:

As with any emerging field, biomedical engineering raises important ethical questions. It is essential to continuously evaluate the potential consequences and impacts of these innovative treatment methods to ensure they align with societal values and standards. Striking a balance between progress and ethical responsibility is key to promoting sustainable advancements in healthcare.


The potential for biomedical engineering in human medicine is immense, and we are just scratching the surface. By supporting and championing these teams of talented individuals driving innovation in biomedical engineering, we can pave the way for revolutionary treatments that will shape the future of healthcare. Let us come together to nurture this field, appreciating the immense potential it holds to transform lives and redefine what is possible in modern medicine.

Original source


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

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