Inkjet Tissue Engineering

(From the BBC). Work is proceeding on the adaptation of inkjet printing technology to tissue engineering: "inkjets will be able to 'print out' tailor-made human cells to fit a patient's exact dimensions. Human cells are suspended in a nutrient-rich liquid before being printed out in several thin layers. Project leaders say the method could be used to build an organ in a day." Scientists have not yet demonstrated the ability to create large, complex, three-dimensional tissue structures in this way, but research is continuing. As the article notes, our current abilities are limited in comparison: "Using conventional methods, you are only able to grow tissues which are a few millimetres thick, which is fine for growing artificial skin, but if you wanted to grow cartilage, for instance, it would be impossible."

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/4184627.stm

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