Printing skin with light

Bioprinting by light-sheet lithography

Text: Cathrin Wisén


BRIGHTER is an EU-financed project that aims to develop a novel bioprinting technology that will be used to produce tissue samples that mimic biological tissue with embedded three-dimensional structures.

CURRENT BIOPRINTING methods are limited in their application space by both insuffi cient speed and spatial resolution. Long printing times decrease the proportion of healthy cells, while poor spatial resolution fails to accurately recreate the structure of biological tissues. The ability to produce engineered tissue samples is developing into an important technique for applications in regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical testing.

“The BRIGHTER project is attempting to push the limits of engineered tissue by enabling a combination of customization, resolution and throughput in order to facilitate progress in clinical and academic studies and applications.”, explains Gustaf Mårtensson at Mycronic, a member of the project team.

Designing a light-based printing technology for biological tissue

The optical 3D printing methodology being developed is based on Mycronic’s highresolution, high-speed, lithographic printing technology used for its advanced mask writers. The new printing technology will be able to address details the size of individual biological cells.

With this new technology it will be possible to produce tissue surrogates with high spatial resolution at high printing speeds using an original top-down lithography approach, in contrast with current bottomup, layer-by-layer bioprinting methods.

The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a superior alternative to state-of-the art 3D bioprinting with a disruptive bioprinting technology that will create new scientific and business opportunities.


* Top photo: Immortalized human epidermal keratinocytes — a skin cell from the outer layer that has mutated to have an extended lifespan.

Text: Cathrin Wisén


Published: 29 June 2020

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