Revolutionary Hydrogel Techniques Revolutionizing Medicine

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 06:25 pm

Researchers at the University of Padua in Italy have developed a new hydrogel-in-hydrogel live bioprinting approach that enables the dynamic fabrication of instructive hydrogels within pre-existing hydrogel-based organ-like cultures. This breakthrough could have applications in cancer treatment, regeneration of the liver and lungs, and even help the blind see, the deaf hear, and the paralysed move.

The method involves crosslinking photosensitive hydrogels via two-photon absorption at any time during culture, allowing temporal and spatial design and guidance of 3D structures for targeting specific time windows and cell types in 3D cultures.

The researchers have demonstrated that these structures are capable of guiding neural axon directionality in growing organotypic spinal cords, controlling differential cell migration in developing cancer organoids, promoting cell polarity in liver organoids, guiding small intestinal organoid morphogenesis, and controlling lung tip bifurcation according to the hydrogel composition and shape.

The advances in hydrogels are covered in the Zhar Research report “Hydrogels: Future Technologies and Markets 2024-2044”, which analyses the needs and solutions for cooling, self-healing, tissue engineering, bone regeneration, skin regeneration, restored vision, overcoming paralysis, smart prosthetics and injected hydrogels.

Dr Peter Harrop, CEO of Zhar Research, said: “Hydrogels are the chemical family closest to human tissue and most likely to be both self-healing and biocompatible. Their virtuosity is seen from shape-memory injectables to medical cooling and contact lenses. Researchers are making excellent progress in tackling some remaining limitations of hydrogels.”

For those specifically interested in self-healing materials in healthcare, there is the new Zhar Research report, “Self-Healing Healthcare Material Markets, Technology: 2024-2044” and a free introductory webinar on called, “Self-Healing Materials: Big Markets 2024-2044”.

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