From the nature to the nerve: On the use of biomass for conductive tissue engineering applications

Updated: Feb 18

Doctoral candidate Sandra Rojas-Lema from the Polytechnical University of Valencia, Spain, visited Aalto via FinnCERES GoGlobal Programme. She worked under the supervision of postdoctoral researcher Jon Trifol in a project regarding the revalorization of soy hull for 3D printed conductive tissue engineering applications.

In this work, 3D printed conductive scaffold with potential for conductive tissue engineering were made entirely from soy hull. “Think of biomass as a large LEGO” - says Jon – “ Firstly, we separated the pieces from the soy hull, and next, made a complex structure by using 3D printing”. More specifically, proteins, cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin were fractionated from the soy hull, and then the different fractions were merged together to make a bioink – a viscous paste used in 3D printing. Finally, via 3D printing this bioink was used to create porous scaffolds where cells can grow quicker.

Photo: The 3D printed conductive scaffold (left) is made entirely of soy hull (right).

To prove that residual biomass can be potentially utilized for very high added value applications, the next step is to perform the biocompatibility assays.