A team of researchers at Purdue University and Los Alamos National Laboratory have created bio-inks for biosensors that could help confine critical areas in tissues and organs during surgical procedures.
Characteristically, the ink used in biosensors is biocompatible and provides a user friendly design with excellent workable time frame of more than a day.
Meanwhile, the new biosensors allow to simultaneous record and image tissues and organs during surgical procedures.
In fact, simultaneous recording and imaging of biosensors could be useful during heart surgery for localizing critical regions and guide surgical interventions such as a procedure to restore normal heart rhythms.
For the research, Los Alamos contributed to formulate and synthesize bio-inks. The goal is to create a thin, ultra-soft and stretchable material for biosensors with the capability to seamlessly interface with the surface of organs. This involved using 3D printing techniques.
Importantly, silicone materials are liquid with flow like honey. This makes it very challenging for 3D printing without sagging and flowing issues during printing. Consequently, it is very exciting to have discovered a way to create printed inks that do not pose deformation problems during the curing process.
Interestingly, when compared with tissue, bio-inks are softer, stretch without sensor degradation, and have reliable natural adhesion for wet surface of organs without additional adhesives.
The in vivo assessment of the patch by means of testing in mice as well as in pigs is aided by an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Purdue University. The results show the biosensor is able to reliably measure electrical signals, and at the same time not impair cardiac function.
The research is published in Nature Communications.