The Holy Grail of Artificial Organ Building Blocks: 3D Printed Blood Vessels

vascular-network-of-the-human-liver

[T]here is still one major hurdle to get us from the tiny sheets of 3D printed organ tissue, to that of entire 3D printed organs, which could one day be created by a patient’s own stem cells, and transplanted to save their life.

Every cell within a human organ, such as the liver, kidney or heart are within a hair’s width of a blood supply. [U]p until now, researchers have found to be a nightmare to overcome when dealing with bioprinting.

organs-41

To achieve this, the researchers used an extremely advanced bioprinter to fabricate tiny fibers, all interconnected, which would represent the complex vascular structure of an organ.

They coated the fibers with human organs-3endothelial cells, and then covered it with a protein based material, rich in cells. The cell infused material was then hardened with the application of light. Once hardened the researchers carefully removed the coated fibers, leaving behind an intricate network of tiny spaces throughout the hardened cell material.

The human endothelial cells were left behind, along the tiny spaces created by the fibers, which after a week self organized into stable capillaries.

Via 3D Print for the full article.

This entry was posted in Gadgets, Science by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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