Bio­printer stacks liv­ing tis­sue in oil

Sci­en­tists aim to cre­ate sta­ble tis­sue for trans­plants, etc., by 3D print­ing cell-con­tain­ing wa­ter drops in oil.

Science Illustrated - - 3D PRINTING -

3D prints of liv­ing cells, bio­prints, have long been re­quested by doc­tors. Thanks to a series of sci­en­tific break­throughs, 3D printed tis­sue and or­gans for ex­per­i­ments and trans­plants are now within reach.

Among the chal­lenges of bio­print is to make the cells re­main in place and pre­vent the tis­sue from col­laps­ing un­der its own weight. UK sci­en­tists solved the prob­lem by en­cap­su­lat­ing wa­ter drops filled with 30-40 mil­lion cells per cm3 in thin mem­branes, which hold the cells in place, when they are printed. So, the liv­ing cells are sup­ported, as the struc­ture is built.

Sci­en­tists hope that the method can pro­duce large pieces of tis­sue made of dif­fer­ent cell types. Other sci­en­tists have 3D printed blood ves­sel net­works, and solid struc­tures such as bones are al­ready a fact of life.

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