A 3D printing breakthrough: 3D printed biological tissue

3d printing

Multimaterial 3-D printing – a complex lattice using different inks.

3D printing capabilities are rather limited despite the excitement that 3-D printing has generated. It can be used to make complex shapes, but most commonly only out of plastics. Even manufacturers using an advanced version of the technology known as additive manufacturing typically have expanded the material palette only to a few types of metal alloys. But what if 3-D printers could use a wide assortment of different materials, from living cells to semiconductors, mixing and matching the “inks” with precision?



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3D printed human cells could end animal testing within 5 years

3D-printed human tissue could very soon begin saving millions of lives — those of the humble lab mice.

A hundred million animals are killed in labs and classrooms across the U.S. every year.  Many of these mice, rats and rabbits are needed in part to develop the early stages of new vaccines and medicines, which might later go on to treat human illnesses. It is a harsh reality for the animals involved, but one which may be about to change.



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How 3D printing can build new bone using stem cells

Using 3D printing, researchers can create scaffolds to repair/replace bone tissue.

A new technique that involves 3D printing a tissue using living stem cells could repair damaged bones. For example, if a child had a jawbone defect, you could take an image of the defect, feed it into a computer and print a replacement to precisely fill the defect using the patient’s own cells, said Kevin Shakeshaff, a pharmacist at the University of Nottingham in England.



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Researchers clone human embryonic stem cells

Creating stem cells from skin.

Researchers have converted human skin cells into embryonic stem cells using the same process involved in cloning, which have the capability to turn into any type of cell in the body. Stem cell researchers have reached a long-sought milestone in “regenerative” medicine that seeks to provide rejection-free replacement transplant tissues to patients.



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Medical inkjet printer could one day print living tissue on demand

Do you need an artery for bypass surgery or custom cartilage for that worn-out knee?  One day you will be able to print an artery.

Biomedical engineers in about a dozen major university and corporate laboratories are working on ways to print living human tissue. There is the hope of one day producing personalized body parts and implants on demand. Still far from clinical use, these tissue-engineering experiments represent the next step in a process known as computerized adaptive manufacturing, in which industrial designers turn out custom prototypes and finished parts using inexpensive 3-D computer printers.



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Artificial blood vessels made on a 3D printer


Tissue engineers create artificial blood vessels on a 3D printer.

Tissue engineers are building a handful of new body parts, from intestines to tracheas  — but progress on larger organs has been slow. This is mainly because tissues need nutrients to stay alive, and they need blood vessels to deliver those nutrients. It’s difficult to build those vascular networks, but now a team from Germany may have a solution: Print some capillaries with a 3-D printer.


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Study Finds Newborn Mice’s Hearts Can Heal Themselves


Researchers worked with mice and found that if a portion of the heart was removed within the first week of life, the heart grew back completely.

An adult zebra fish can regenerate a damaged heart with no scar formation. This remarkable phenomenon has been seen in other fish and amphibians as well, but never before in a mammal.


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‘Mussel Gel’ Can Repair Tissue and Bond Medical Implants


Mussel byssus enables mussel to surfaces even in water.

A new gel that the inventors say you can play with like Silly Putty, can repair torn skin, bond implants, or act as an adhesive for underwater machinery.  The invention, under development for several years, is now patent pending, and it’s all thanks to the biomimicry of a mussel’s byssus, the hair-size filaments that form a sticky foam enabling the mussel’s fierce attachment to rocks, substrates, and beds on the sea walls and floors.


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A Step Closer to a Simple Blood Test That Can Detect Cancer

 blood test

Blood test will be able to detect one cancer cell among a billion healthy cells.

A blood test so sensitive it can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones is moving a step closer to being available at your doctor’s office, with potentially revolutionary medical implications.


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