Biotechnology's Future: 3D-Printing Human Cells

Nano3D Biosciences Inc., a small business funded by the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research program, uses a magnetic 3D bioprinting technology to reimagine cell culture models and tissue engineering. Hubert Tseng, senior scientist at Nano3D, and his team magnetize the cells, and then use magnetism to print those cells into micro-tissues. They use a solution called 'nanoshuttle,' which consists of magnetic nanoparticles that attach to the cells to magnetize them. They can then print the magnetized cells into shapes by changing the shape of the magnet. In one experiment, Tseng describes taking induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocites - essentially heart cells - magnetizing and printing them into a sphere. The cells started beating. This technique offers an advantage over 2D cell models that wouldn't beat in the same way.