According to a team of biochemists, DNA scaffolds can be used to grow human cells and “glue” 3D printed tissues and organs together.
Liat Clark, Wired.co.UK:
The method, described in the ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering journal, relies on creating a “smart glue” from plastic (polystyrene or polyacrylamide) nanoparticles containing 40 base pairs of DNA. These are assembled in a gel — the nanoparticles are held together by DNA interactions, while the gel holds the entire scaffold’s shape in place. The team, from the University of Texas at Austin, could then use the gel in a 3D printer to create structures about a centimeter in size. It means that the microscopic DNA strands and nanoparticles suddenly have a tangible presence — the gel is something that can be used and manipulated at a scale visible to the human eye.
Most importantly, it was proven that the material can act as a scaffold for new cells to flourish. Therefore it could be envisioned as a scaffold for injury repair, whereby the gel helps graft on new 3D printed cells grown in the lab and implanted.
Read more at: DNA ‘glue’ could hold 3D printed organs together (Wired UK).