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Origami Revolutionizes Sensor Placement in 3D-Bioprinted Tissues

Innovative Israeli researchers use ancient Japanese folding techniques to solve modern bioprinting challenges.

Three-dimensional bioprinting is transforming the field of tissue engineering, offering unprecedented possibilities for creating human tissue and personalized treatments. However, embedding sensors within these tissues has been a persistent challenge. Traditional methods often result in sensors breaking under the pressure of the printer head.

In a groundbreaking development, researchers at Tel Aviv University have turned to the ancient art of origami to address this issue. This innovative approach, named the Multi-Sensor Origami Platform (MSOP), allows sensors to be precisely positioned within bioprinted tissues without the risk of damage.

Inspired by the intricate folding techniques of origami, the research team designed a structure that wraps around the bioprinted tissue. Using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, they created a multi-sensor framework tailored to specific tissue models. This framework can accommodate various sensors, enabling precise monitoring of electrical activity and cell resistance within the tissue.

Once the CAD model is complete, the structure is physically folded around the bioprinted tissue, ensuring each sensor is accurately placed. The effectiveness of this method was demonstrated on 3D-bioprinted brain tissue, where sensors successfully recorded neuronal electrical activity.

One of the standout features of the MSOP is its versatility. It can accommodate any number and type of sensors in various positions within different 3D-bioprinted tissue models. This adaptability extends to lab-grown tissues like brain organoids, which mimic the human brain.

Professor Ben Maoz, one of the researchers, highlighted an additional advantage of the platform. For experiments with bioprinted brain tissue, the team incorporated a layer simulating the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This barrier protects the brain from harmful substances in the blood but also obstructs certain medications. By adding a layer of human BBB cells, the researchers could measure their electrical resistance, providing insights into their permeability to various medications.

This pioneering research was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Science, marking a significant advancement in the field of tissue engineering.

Israel continues to lead in scientific innovation, merging ancient techniques with cutting-edge technology. Discover more about these groundbreaking developments by subscribing to our newsletter and sharing this article with fellow enthusiasts.