Research shows 3D bioprinted seaweed molecules can help heal 


A collaboration by a team of scientists and Venus Shell Systems has identified biomolecules from seaweed that can be used in 3D printed ink and aid in wound healing.

The species of molecule is known as ulvan, says a statement from the University of Wollongong. UoW, the ARC Centre for Excellence in Electromaterials Science and Venus published their work in the journal Biomaterials Science. 

Dr Pia Winberg, the founder and Director of Venus, said ulvan was “uncannily similar in structure and function to the molecules that exists in human skin.

Winberg’s biotech company is based at Shoalhaven, and according to its website grows and supplies seaweed biomass and extracts for applications in “biomaterials, cosmetics, dermatological care, food, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.”

ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace, who is a co-author of the paper “3D bioprinting dermal-like structures using species-specific ulvan”, said “Wound healing occurs in a 3D environment involving a number of cell types and biomolecules, so the use of 3D bioprinting to create scaffolds for wound healing has attracted much attention.

“Ulvan acts as molecular reinforcement in 3D printed scaffolds, a key feature in preventing structure contraction, and hence minimises scarring during wound healing.”

The work can be accessed here.

Picture: Winberg and Wallace (supplied)

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