These 3D printed implants were used to heal severe spinal cord injury in rat...
These 3D printed implants were used to heal severe spinal cord injury in rat models.
Source: University of California San Diego

Bioprinting nanoparticles for ovarian cancer immunotherapy

Nanoengineers at UC San Diego received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an immunotherapy for ovarian cancer using plant virus nanoparticles. The particles will be produced using 3D-bioprinting, enabling them to be released at specified intervals, instead of a continuous slow release.

High grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and severe form of ovarian cancer, accounting for an estimated 70 percent of all ovarian cancer diagnoses. To provide an effective and long lasting treatment for HGSOC, Professor Nicole Steinmetz plans to use a patient’s own irradiated tumor cells, coupled with a virus-like particle (VLP) from a plant virus that has been shown to boost the body’s immune response, to trigger the body to attack the tumor cells. The irradiated tumor cells will serve as the foreign agent telling the body’s immune response exactly what cells to attack. The co-released VLP will boost the natural immune response in reaction to these tumor cells. This is meant to create a cellular memory against these tumor antigens, creating a long-lasting and adaptive anti-tumor immunity and preventing relapse.

“We have already demonstrated that our VLP nanotechnology is highly effective as a cancer immunotherapy,” said Steinmetz. “The innovation here lies in the advanced manufacturing coupled with the novel nanotechnology to produce a personalized immunotherapy to protect women with ovarian cancer from recurrence of this disease.”

Steinmetz’ team developed the VLP nanotechnology from the same non-infectious, non-toxic plant virus they used to successfully treat melanoma in dogs, and has shown that these plant virus-like particles generate anti-tumor immunity in mice with ovarian cancer.

The biopolymer immunotherapy will be delivered via an implant, produced using a 3D bioprinting technique developed in Professor Shaochen Chen’s 3D Bioprinting lab at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Known as rapid, microscale, continuous optical bioprinting, Chen’s team has used this 3D bioprinting method to create a spinal cord implant that could be used to promote nerve growth and treat spinal cord injury, as well as life-like liver tissue and intricate blood vessel networks. His lab will collaborate with Steinmetz to bioprint these immunotherapy implants incorporating the nanoparticles and irradiated tumor cells.

“Our 3D bioprinting platform enables manufacturing of patient specific implants with precise control over both the topographical complexity and the cellular and material composition,” said Chen. “The engineering design space and tunability of this approach is impeccable; in particular the implant will be designed so that therapeutic doses are released in programmed intervals.”

Ultimately, the researchers envision this immunotherapy implant being seamlessly added in to the existing ovarian cancer treatment process. During surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor, the biocompatible, biodegradable implant would be inserted in the cavity lining the patient’s abdomen, where it would release the engineered immunotherapy particles at timed intervals.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related articles

Researchers use bioprinting to create nose cartilage

Researchers use bioprinting to create nose cartilage

Researchers have used 3D bioprinting technology to create custom-shaped cartilage. They aim to make it easier for surgeons to safely restore the features of skin cancer patients living with nasal cartilage defects after surgery.

Using bioprinting and computer modeling to examine cancer spread

Using bioprinting and computer modeling to examine cancer spread

Scientists have paired 3D-printed, living human brain vasculature with advanced computational flow simulations to better understand tumor cell attachment to blood vessels.

On the path to safe nanomedicine

On the path to safe nanomedicine

Scientists have now developed guidelines that should enable the safe development of nanoparticles for medical use.

App monitors cancer patients' quality of life

App monitors cancer patients' quality of life

A team from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) has developed a new mobile application that facilitates the continuous monitoring of the quality of life of cancer patients.

3D printing congress: AM Medical Days 2021

3D printing congress: AM Medical Days 2021

The first edition of the new conference series AM Medical Days 2021 starts with the focus on "Medical AM: How to apply it to patients?".

Aerogel: the micro structural material of the future

Aerogel: the micro structural material of the future

Scientists from Empa were able to 3D print stable well-shaped microstructures made from silica aerogels for use in biotechnology and precision engineering.

Novel method of bioprinting neuron cells

Novel method of bioprinting neuron cells

The researchers have use a new laser-assisted technology that maintains high levels of cell viability and functionality.

Pancreatic “organoids” mimic the real thing

Pancreatic “organoids” mimic the real thing

Studying these organoids could help researchers develop and test new treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Machine learning helps diagnose leukemia

Machine learning helps diagnose leukemia

Researchers at the University of Bonn show how artificial intelligence improves the evaluation of blood analysis data.

Popular articles

Subscribe to Newsletter