Researchers have developed “bio-inks” for use in biosensors designed to help surgeons perform more accurate surgical procedures.
The team from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Purdue University said the new biosensors allow simultaneous recording and imaging of tissues and organs during surgery.
“The ink used in the biosensors is biocompatible and offers an easy-to-use design with excellent workable time frames of more than one day,” said Kwan-Soo Lee, of Los Alamos’ Chemical Diagnostics and Engineering group.
“Simultaneous recording and imaging may be helpful during cardiac surgery in locating critical regions and guiding surgical procedures, such as a procedure to restore normal heart rhythms,” said Professor Chi Hwan Lee of Purdue University.
The Los Alamos team formulated and synthesized the bio-inks with the goal of creating an ultra-soft, thin, and stretchable material for biosensors that can interact seamlessly with the surface of organs. They did this using 3D printing techniques.
“Silicone materials are liquid and flow like honey, so it’s a big challenge to 3D print without problems with sagging and flow during printing,” says Kwan-Soo Lee. “It’s really exciting to have found a way to make printed inks that don’t show any shape distortion during the curing process.
” The bio-inks are softer than tissue, stretch without sensor degradation and have a reliable natural bond to the wet surface of organs without the need for additional adhesive. Both mice and pigs were used in the in vivo assessment of the patch.
The results showed that the biosensor was able to reliably measure electrical signal without harming heart function.
Earlier this year, one team created a method to help repair defects in skin and bone using bioprinting during surgery, while another created a suture inspired by human tendons that could help reduce the damage typically done. caused by stiff surgical sutures.