Bioengineers 3D print complex vascular networks

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They’ll be essential to 3D-printed organs and replacement tissues.

Bioengineers are one step closer to 3D printing organs and tissues. A team led by Rice University and the University of Washington have developed a tool to 3D print complex and “exquisitely entangled” vascular networks. These mimic the body’s natural passageways for blood, air, lymph and other fluids, and they will be essential for artificial organs.

For decades, one of the challenges in replicating human tissues has been figuring out a way to get nutrients and oxygen into the tissue and how to remove waste. Our bodies use vascular networks to do this, but it’s been hard to recreate those in soft, artificial materials.

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Robots can grow humanoid mini-organs from stem cells faster and better than people

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Automated robots now have the tools to grow imitation, simplified human organs out of stem cells. Thankfully, we weren’t transported to a sci-fi dystopia where the machines have risen up and started to farm humans, but rather a world where pharmaceutical and other biomedical research just became much easier and faster.

Give these robots some pluripotent stem cells (stem cells that can become any type of cell), and 21 days later they’ll have finished a complicated experiment testing out the effects of a drug or genetic manipulation on some human-like, lab-grown kidneys. According to research published yesterday, May 17, in Cell: Stem Cell, the process is much faster and more reliable than when humans grow the same mini-organs.

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