Beyond Achondroplasia

Growing together with Clara

What can 3D bioprinting do for achondroplasia?


The last days, I have been doing some research about 3d bioprinting and I´m completely amazed by all that I found.

This impressive technic is a huge evolution in medicine and it shows obvious signs that it will, in a matter of a few years, change completely the way regenerative medicine works.

So, what can 3D bioprinting do for achondroplasia?

In this quite extense article,

Bioprinting towards Organ Fabrication:Challenges and Future Trends – Ibrahim Ozbolat and Yin Yu

“Tissue engineering has been a promising field of research, offering hope for bridging the gap between organ
shortage and transplantation needs. However, building threedimensional (3D) vascularized organs remains the main
technological barrier to be overcome. Organ printing, which is defined as computer-aided additive biofabrication of 3D cellular
tissue constructs, has shed light on advancing this field into a new era. Organ printing takes advantage of rapid prototyping (RP)
technology to print cells, biomaterials, and cell-laden biomaterials individually or in tandem, layer by layer, directly creating 3D
tissue-like structures. Here, we overview RP-based bioprinting approaches and discuss the current challenges and trends towards
fabricating living organs for transplant in the near future.”


In the fascinating article: Engineering growing tissues, by

Eben Alsberg*, Kenneth W. Anderson†, Amru Albeiruti‡, Jon A. Rowley*, and David J. Mooney, September 2012

“Regenerating or engineering new tissues and organs may one day allow routine replacement of lost or failing tissues and organs.
However, these engineered tissues must not only grow to fill a defect and integrate with the host tissue, but often they must also
grow in concert with the changing needs of the body over time.”

One example of a growing tissue is the epiphyseal growth plate, which is responsible for bone elongation during development through a process termed endochondral ossification. Endochondral ossification involves the deposition of osteoid matrix on top of calcified cartilage and its subsequent mineralization and this process is compromised in multiple disease and injury states such as osteochondrodysplasias (that includes achondroplasia), epiphyseal osteochondroses, premature growth plate fusion and  Legg–Calve–Perthes disease”.

“We hypothesized that it would be possible to engineer a growing tissue by presenting appropriate growth stimuli from the cell transplantation scaffold.  This hypothesis was tested in the context of engineering growing bony tissues by the cotransplantation of osteoblasts and chondrocytes. It is critical to promote the multiplication of transplanted cells if one is to engineer a growing tissue in vivo, and one required growth stimulus for most mammalian cell types is an appropriate adhesive substrate.

Substrate: the research team hypothetized that a high density of adhesive ligands to transplanted chondrocytes from the polymeric delivery vehicle would promote their multiplication and synthetic peptides containing the arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) cell adhesion sequence were covalently coupled to the alginate polymer chains used to form thehydrogel delivery vehicle to provide this requirement.

The current findings demonstrate that providing specific cell-adhesive interactions with the cell delivery vehicle can markedly enhance the growth of engineered cartilage tissue. Once a growing cartilage template had been achieved, the cellular environment present during endochondral ossification was partially recreated in an effort to form a tissue engineered growth plate-like structure”.

“Thus, cotransplantation of chondrocytes and osteoblasts in this vehicle resulted in a growing bony tissue, as evidenced by
significantly increased mineral content, mass, and cell density over time.”


I will keep doing more research and reading more about the 3D bioprinting.





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