Human Organs

Stem Cells Printed in 3-D with Inkjet Devices

The creation of implantable human organs with an ink-jet printer isn't as far-fetched as it might seem, a materials scientist said—at least in the future. 

Scientists already use ink-jet cartridges to "print" stem cells into exacting patterns, and now engineers are taking the technology to a whole new dimension—quite literally—by exploring ways to print 3-D structures of cells.

 

"It's a milestone that we can print all types of cells onto a surface with an ink-jet printer without them dying, even stem cells," said Paul Calvert, a materials scientist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. "Doing this successfully in three dimensions, however, is like going from a black-and-white to a full-color."

 

Calvert, who details the state of cell-printing research in the Oct. 12 issue of the journal Science, said 3-D techniques could help unravel the mysteries of cell-to-cell communication and, perhaps in the distant future, manufacture human organs from scratch. 

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)
www.beyondgenes.com

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