Printability tests of the nanocellulose/alginate bioink with Brinter® in progress

3DTech’s task in the RESTORE project is to develop its Brinter® 3D bioprinting platform towards more accurate and efficient bioprinting of nanoenabled cartilage microtissues for repairing of chondral lesions. In this scope, 3DTech has just started the printability tests of the nanocellulose/alginate bioink produced by the RESTORE partner, University of Gothenburg. Although the optimization of the final composition of the bioink is still under development, the first bioprinting experiments with Brinter® platform using a mechanically driven endless piston based print head, Visco Tool, were quite promising. Simple test patterns (grid, S-line, and tube) were printed using a needle with an inner diameter of 250 µm, and the printed line width and post-printing dimensional stability were evaluated. 

Figure 1. The Visco Tool print head basedon endless pistontechnology

After printing, the structures were crosslinked with CaCl2 and rinsed with PBS. The printed test patterns reproduced the original CAD models quite accurately and maintained their shapes during the overnight incubation test. The estimated line width was approximately 350–400 µm when printing with a speed of 3 mm/s.

Fiure 2. The image captures of the printed test patterns from a movie recorded during printing.

During the upcoming months, the Visco Tool’s ability to maintain post-printing cell viability will be evaluated by printing chondrocytes embedded in the nanocellulose/alginate ink.

CIDETEC in the European MedTech sector

The European MedTech sector has around 27.000 Med-Tech companies, 95% of which are SMEs. These companies need to demonstrate not only safety and performance over the entire life cycle of a product, but also, tangible benefits for the patients and the healthcare system. The new Medical Device Regulation (MDR) increases as well the requirements related to the reliability in relation to its intended clinical use placing a heavy burden on medical device innovation in Europe.

Being the MD’s sector a highly innovative one, with an average lifecycle per product of 18-24 months, this scenario represents several challenges, especially for high-tech SMEs.

SMEs are particularly affected by MDR’s extensive documentation and report obligations and new clinical testing requirements. With the increased demands and their associated complexity, a significant number of SMEs in the MedTech field are now economically and resource wise at risk, which threatens value chains and thus has the potential to affect the sustainability of the entire European medical device sector. There is potential for a massive loss of innovation, jobs, economic strength and product diversity.

CIDETEC is participating in 2 European Project that aim to minimize the impact of the MDR to SMEs, while maintaining a high level of safety for the patients and robustness for the processes.

These 2 projects are “Open Innovation Test Beds” meaning a network of services that covers a part or the total of the development value chain, and help companies to arrive to market at an accelerated pace.


TBMED is a 4-year-long project coordinated by CIDETEC Nanomedicina that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Its aim is to increase the access of high-risk medical devices to patients, by helping SMEs to minimize the market approval and reimbursement process time, optimizing the process of transforming a prototype (TRL4) into a valuable innovative MD (TRL7).

TBMED will establish an Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) consisting of a connected network of labs providing a single entry point to services along the whole value chain, from preclinical development to clinical testing, based on Quality-by-Design (QbD).

Figure 1. Services covered by TBMED.

The objectives of the service platform are:  

  1. Increase the quality and reduce the risk of  MDs and facilitate subsequent clinical testing
  2. Build the arguments to demonstrate real benefits (value / final outcomes) of the new devices to increase their success in entering the market
  3. Reduce cost and variability of the manufacturing process and the speed of product release to the market by carrying out statistically DoE for process validation.

In order to develop the platform, 3 use cases in different TRL stages are used:

  1. Keratoprosthesis: a biocompatible and flexible synthetic cornea (TRL 3)
  2. Glycobone: an injectable ready-to-use hydrogel tailored for oral bone defect reconstruction to be developed for 2 different indications (TRL 4/6)
  3. Hyperthermia treatment for colorectal cancer, based on magnetic nanoparticles and alternating magnetic field (TRL 3/4 )

The OITB will be developed during the course of the project and will become a commercially available platform after the project is finished providing services in areas such as technology development, business support and financing.

A consortium consisting of 5 Research groups (CIDETEC, University of Zaragoza, INSERM, CURAM, FRAUNHOFER), 5 SMEs (ANTARES, SILAB, CYBERNANO, nB, EURICE), 1 industry (AJL) and 2 clinical research organizations (BIOEF, ECRIN), all of them with significant track record in knowledge creation and innovation in their respective domains, guarantee the successful implementation of this project and the creation of the OITB as a separate legal entity afterwards. 

Figure 2. TBMED consortium.



MDOT is a 5 years collaborative project in the framework of DT-NMBP-02-2018 Open Innovation Test Beds for Safety Testing of Medical Technologies for Health (IA). The goal of MDOT is to implement a platform as a meta-network to preserve Med Tech innovation and economic strength, reduce animal testing, and support MDR´s new level of patient safety.

The goal of MDOT is to establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ platform that enables MedTech SMEs to:

1) better know the regulatory requirements for safety assessment of their medical devices
2) establish a database of detailed testing data of commonly used materials and components
3) gain access to advanced testing and fabrication methods
4) perform evaluations of commonly used parts together, and
5) safely and transparently exchange testing data using state-of-the-art technology to decrease cost while increasing quality and safety of medical device innovations.

Operability of MDOT will be demonstrated using three demonstrators:

1) A test bed for the unmet medical need of aerosol delivery through inhalers specifically designed and adopted for infants, term and preterm neonates to allow tests under standardised conditions, which does not yet exist.
2) A test bed for the long term accelerated testing of polymeric active medical devices inaccessible with current technologies due to the temperature sensitivity of polymers that will be also transformed into prediction software modules.
3) A test bed for increasing the safety and lifetime of total joint arthroplasty that involves state of the art testing protocols on wear measurement and computational modelling.


The MDOT platform design and development, profits greatly from the specialised expertise present within the MDOT consortium. Together, the partners cover the value chain from basic and applied research and testing (ITEM, CIDETEC Nanomedicine, University of Bayreuth, University of Linz, University of Leeds, University of Southampton), to MedTech industry (DEMCON, ACMIT, MATHYS), regulatory affairs experts (MT-Consult, Nanoconsult), and clinical application (University of Poznan, Hannover Medical School).

Figure 3. MDOT consortium.

Our role:

– Developer of one of the demonstrators: Hydrophilic coating to control wear of the prosthesis.
– Head of the Orthopaedic Node inside the testing bed: Communication and MDR.


Askel’s crowdfunding campaign is open!

Askel’s deep tech solution, COPLA®, focuses on early intervention and prevention of joint surface degradation. COPLA®, is a medical device already in use for the benefit of veterinary patients. The next step is to move forward to treat human patients. To reach this milestone, the company has announced a share issue on the crowdfunding platform Invesdor ( The crowdfunding is open until the end of January 2020.

COPLA® is used as a platform in RESTORE project to create 2nd generation COPLA® by building nanoenabled 3D matrix for efficient cartilage repair. By joining Askel’s crowdfunding campaign you can also be part of Askel’s story.

Development the first patient specific open access web database of damaged chondral cartilage

In the frame of the EU project RESTORE, Reykjavik University is developing 1ST European database of chondral lesions morphometric and associated 3D models. Thanks to its partnership with the University Hospital Landspitali, the scan acquisition of patient’s knee started in March 2019. It will be soon available for public consultation through a web application. This Continue reading

Contradictory evidences of sport activity on knee cartilage health and disease

Contradictory evidences of sport activity on knee cartilage health and disease

Soccer players and athletes in high-impact sports including volley are frequently affected by knee injuries. Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament and menisci are frequently observed in soccer players and may increase the risk of developing an articular cartilage lesion. In high-level athletes, the Continue reading

RESTORE’s 1st intermediate meeting in San Sebastian

RESTORE’s 1st intermediate meeting was held the 14th and 15th of October 2019 in San Sebastián, Spain. The consortium partners discussed the work progress and together identified opportunities and challenges to reach their objective: effective solution for articular cartilage repair. RESTORE’s 2nd intermediate meeting is scheduled to take place from March 26 to March 27 Continue reading

The REFINE White Paper: Regulatory needs for nanotechnology-enabled health products

The Horizon 2020 project REFINE – Regulatory Science Framework for Nano(bio)material-based Medical Products and Devices ( has newly published a white paper on Anticipation of regulatory needs for nanotechnology-enabled health products, which is of high interest for everybody involved in the development and translation of nano-enabled medical products and devices. Today, nanotechnology-enabled health products are Continue reading

RESTORE at the ICRS world 2019 meeting

RESTORE member Stina Simonsson gave a talk at the ICRS (International Cartilage Regeneration & Joint Perservation Society) world 2019 meeting in Vancouver in Canada with the collective aim of advancing the understanding of joint injury, injury prevention, repair, degeneration, reconstruction and rehabilitation, so as to prolong joint health, maintain patient function, mobility and quality Continue reading

Unique scalable Brinter™ bioprinting platform is being developed towards cartilage bioprinting

3DTech Oy, a Finnish SME partner in RESTORE, has developed and brought to the global market a unique modular 3D bioprinting platform, Brinter™ (

Although 3D bioprinting of human body parts still sounds like science fiction, it may well become a reality in the near future. Already, bioprinters, like Brinter™, can be used in a variety of applications, such as a versatile tool for biomaterial development, as well as in basic research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine conducted at universities and research institutes. Furthermore, our mission during RESTORE project is to improve the performance of the 3D bioprinting process by testing and integrating new print heads into our Brinter™ bioprinting Continue reading