Abstract: bio(t)INK - rethINK tissue printing
We are living in an aging society that is facing a decreasing supply of donor organs for medical transplantation. To confront this pressing issue, we developed a game-changing approach to bioprint tissues for biomedical applications. Our interdisciplinary work aims to create a unique ink, named bio(t)INK, to revolutionize bioprinting. The printing process uses a hijacked 3D printer and two components of biotINK to induce an instantaneous polymerization reaction, creating three-dimensional multi-cellular structures in a user-definable manner. The principle of this two-component glue relies on the rapid and specific interaction of biotin and its tetrameric binding protein avidin. To make use of this high biotin-avidin affinity for cell-cell cross-linking, we engineered cells presenting biotin moieties or biotin-binding proteins on their surfaces as well as recombinant matrix proteins, which co-polymerize upon printing. Furthermore, we explored genetic circuits which allow us to functionalize the bio-synthetic tissue and install biosafety mechanisms. Altogether, we are confident that our system provides the necessary means to advance the SynBio community to the next level – the tissue level.