Breakthrough: 3D Printing of Lab-grown Cartilage 

Researchers Successfully Use 3D Printing of Cartilage Cells to Make and Grow Nose Cartilage in a Laboratory for Cancer Patient Reconstruction

25 February 2021

“Biofabrication of nasal cartilage for reconstructive surgeries in skin cancer patients.....we have done it,” says Dr. Adetola Adesida. That simple understatement by a medical researcher marks a leap forward to the day when patients will have lab-grown, custom-made, human cartilage replacements.
Dr. Adesida’s team of international researchers from Brazil to China, including stem cell scientists, chemical engineers, otolaryngology - Head & Neck surgeons, and maxillofacial prosthodontists, have pioneered a new process for growing high-quality human cartilage in a laboratory that could soon improve how surgeons perform nasal reconstructions.

Non-melanoma skin cancer patients who need a new nose will suffer less, have fewer complications, and benefit from better esthetic results.

The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology published the research paper “Bioprinting of human nasoseptal chondrocytes‐laden collagen hydrogel for cartilage tissue engineering.” Michelle Lan, the paper’s primary author who leads on 3D bioprinting, is doing a PhD in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She says, “I think collaboration is important because it brings some new sets of skills and ideas into the research, which can help us tackle difficult problems from different perspectives and achieve better results.”