Development of novel bio-inks for 3D printed bone graft

University of Glasgow

Active award

Student: Alvaro Sanchez Rubio

Year Award Started: 2018

Bone is the second most transplanted tissue behind blood, yet it is typically harvested from the patient themselves, often leaving chronic pain. For this reason a source of lab grown bone would be preferential. This requires materials which can stimulate stem cells into forming bone. In addition materials will ideally be injectable or compatible with the latest generation of 3D bioprinters, allowing production of custom biological implants.

Hydrogels are of particular interest, allowing incorporation of cells and use as a bio-ink, however these materials require functionalisation with bioactive molecules. BMP-2 is one such growth factor which potently stimulates bone production in mesenchymal stem cells, as studied by the MiMe group (University of Glasgow).

In this project we aim to functionalise a class of synthetic hydrogels for the purposes of developing novel bone graft materials. We will aim to stimulate cultured adult stem cells through addition of bioactive molecules such as fibronectin and BMP-2. We will then seek to test the gel composites for the purposes of 3D bioprinting as a novel bio-ink. Finally we will carry out pre-clinical testing of our material in a small animal model of critical sized bone defect, building evidence for future clinical studies.

Research area: Musculoskeletal conditions


Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez
School of Engineering
Professor Matthew Dalby
Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology

Biogelx Ltd