According to a recent report from the National Science and Technology Research Council, researchers in South Korea have developed a groundbreaking three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technology that has the potential to kill cancer cells by leveraging the function of immune cells. This pioneering development is considered a major breakthrough in the field of cancer treatment.
The research was conducted through a collaborative effort between the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) and the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and ICT. The teams successfully utilized natural killer cells (NK cells) as a new method of immunotherapy for treating cancer.
The key innovation lies in allowing 3D-printed hydrogels to encapsulate NK cells, which helps prevent cell loss while enabling them to target tumor cells effectively. By creating pores in the hydrogel, viable NK cells are released over time, allowing them to perform their immune functions efficiently.
Immunotherapy using NK cells has been explored previously; however, traditional intravenous injection methods have not yielded satisfactory results when it comes to treating solid tumors. This is primarily due to difficulties in retaining an adequate level of cell viability and effectively attacking these types of tumors.
In contrast, this newly developed technology allows NK cells to be injected into hydrogels, printed, and cultured within a 3D environment. This approach significantly enhances cell viability and activity, enabling NK cells to effectively attack cancerous tissues.
Principal Investigator Su A Park from KIMM expressed optimism about this groundbreaking technology’s potential impact on cancer treatment: “This technology may help significantly improve the functionality of NK cells used for cancer treatment. We look forward to contributing to the treatment of cancer patients through this newly developed technology.”
It is worth noting that this research received support from various projects sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT, including one focused on developing multiscale vasculature-laden skin composite tissue for the evaluation of implantable nanobiosensors. Additionally, the Convergence Research Center of the National Council for Research in Science and Technology also supported a project aimed at developing UnTACT systems for critical illnesses.
The Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) is a government-funded non-profit research institute under the Ministry of Science and ICT. Since its establishment in 1976, KIMM has played a crucial role in contributing to the nation’s economic growth by conducting research and development on key machinery and materials technologies, evaluating reliability tests, and marketing developed products and technologies.
This groundbreaking research has far-reaching implications for cancer treatment, offering new hope to patients worldwide. By harnessing the power of 3D bioprinting technology combined with immune cells, scientists have taken a significant step forward in combatting this devastating disease.
Source: (National Science and Technology Research Council)(https://www.nst.re.kr/eng/index.do)