Name: Robert Lyle Hood
Occupation: Assistant Professor at UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering
- What are you currently using CELLINK technology for? (Please specify what you are using)
We are currently using the Inkredible+ CELLINK Bioprinter to print minimally-invasive and biodegradable polymeric implants for localized drug delivery customizable to each patient. Beyond this application, this approach provides unique material possibilities enabled by layered, 3D-printed biodegradable polymers, allowing researchers additional control to isolate, study, and resolve a plethora of their own desired mechanisms.
- What sparked your interest to work with 3D Bioprinting?
I have been interested in bioprinting since seeing the first inkjet printer-turned bioprinter in Dr. Anthony Atala’s lab at Wake Forest University. The potential of such a technology was immediately apparent and seemed a historic first step in a future medicine technology. For our field, 3D Bioprinting is an innovative concept for developing miniaturized polymeric implants for local delivery. We are interested in using 3D Bioprinting because it provides us with a way to fine tune and customize devices that address varying patient needs.
- What future projects are you hoping to use CELLINK technology for?
Our focus right now is the development of biodegradable implants for localized drug delivery. However, there are several other various projects in our lab with biomedical applications that require the use of the Inkredible+ CELLINK Bioprinter that we are just starting to explore, such as creating lightweight tactile sensors and temporary, degradable coatings to emergency intervention devices. Furthermore, we envision the technology as having applicability in deep space exploration missions where the stockpiling of various medical supplies would be prohibitive, and would love to contribute to developing its versatility as an ad hoc medication and device fabricator.
- What do you find to be most exciting about working with 3D Bioprinting?
To our group, the most exciting aspects of 3D Bioprinting is the potential for personalized medicine. Equipping pharmacists with the capability of printing pills or biodegradable implants to specifically meet the needs of individual patients will be an enormous leap forward in clinical medicine. It is truly thrilling to “get in on the ground floor” of a technology that has such great capability to revolutionize pharmacology.