The Growing Role of Ink-Jets

Ink-jet printing is well on the way to becoming a foundation stone for the next generation of tissue engineering technology. From EurekAlert!: "The custom-built ink-jet printer [can] deposit and immobilize growth factors in virtually any design, pattern or concentration, laying down patterns on native extracellular matrix-coated slides (such as fibrin). These slides are then placed in culture dishes and topped with muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs). Based on pattern, dose or factor printed by the ink-jet, the MDSCs can be directed to differentiate down various cell-fate differentiation pathways ... Because the ink-jet system employs such precision, it could be used one day to co-culture multiple MDSC lineages - including bone, muscle and other cell types - in complex, patterned configurations that could be incorporated directly into specific areas of the body in need of repair of multiple tissue types ... such as joints where bone, tendon, cartilage and muscle interface."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-12/cmu-pte120506.php

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