Skip to comments.3D-printed living human tissues one step closer
Posted on 02/23/2014 8:18:57 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Harvard scientists have developed a new bioprinting method that can create intricately patterned 3-D tissue constructs with multiple types of cells and tiny blood vessels.
The work is a major step toward creating human tissue constructs realistic enough to test drug safety and effectiveness, researchers said.
The method will also help bring closer the building of fully functional replacements for injured or diseased tissue that can be designed from CAT scan data using computer-aided design (CAD), printed in 3D at the push of a button.
"This is the foundational step toward creating 3D living tissue," said Jennifer Lewis, senior author of the study, from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.
Tissue engineers have printed human tissue before, but they have been limited to thin slices of tissue about a third as thick as a dime.
When scientists try to print thicker layers of tissue, cells on the interior starve for oxygen and nutrients, and have no good way of removing carbon dioxide and other waste. Nature solves the problem by permeating tissue with a network of tiny thin-walled blood vessels that nourish tissue and remove waste, so researchers mimicked this function.
To print 3D tissue constructs with a predefined pattern, researchers needed functional inks with useful biological properties, so they developed several tissue-friendly inks containing key ingredients of living tissues.
To create blood vessels, they developed an ink which melted as it is cooled, rather than as it warmed. This allowed the scientists to first print an interconnected network of filaments, then melt them by chilling the material and suction the liquid out to create a network of hollow tubes, or vessels.
The Harvard team then road-tested the method to assess its power and versatility.
They printed 3D tissue constructs with a variety of architectures, resulting in an intricately patterned construct containing blood vessels and three different types of cells - a structure approaching the complexity of solid tissues.
When they injected human endothelial cells into the vascular network, those cells regrew the blood-vessel lining.
Keeping cells alive and growing in the tissue construct represents an important step toward printing human tissues, researchers said.
Lewis and her team are now focused on creating functional 3D tissues that are realistic enough to screen drugs for safety and effectiveness.
The study is published in the journal Advanced Materials.
Saw them print up a woman on “Fifth Element”
It could work.
I’ll take two kidneys and a liver. How soon can I pick ‘em up?
I wonder if someday they'll be able to produce a mask of a persons younger face with fresh line-less skin. A short cut face lift.
Some day her prints will come
In the future, pimps will print the woman you want...
The next step: 3D printing the human body
Hearts - the next stage of the 3D printing revolution: This medical miracle is shockingly close
I bought on a stick because they do this and are ahead of schedule.
This is one of those pie in the sky applications that everyone thought would be 20 years down the road, if ever. It is amazing how quickly this is progressing. This was a big technical hurdle.
Thanks for the ping, literary idea pass on ping to others.
Imagine being able to replace that foot that got eaten by that ruglike critter..
Next up, Replicants...
I’ll bet they get a lot of requests for lost fingers and hands.
Somewhere, I don’t remember where, there was an article about transferring memories from one mouse to another. Combine the progress being made in that, with the progress being made with 3D printing, and it becomes frighteningly possible that they could print an actual person, not just the body.
Earlier today I was thinking that to build the scaffolding of such things as bones and teeth they might need to remove all the living tissue, (as they do for cadaver donors), and process only the minerals.
This would mean they could form up a tooth, let us say, and print or inject the cells grown from your own body that would colonize that form, and then ultimately implant the tooth into the missing space in your jaw that needs it.
So when you buy your kid’s teeth, masquerading as the Tooth Fairy, you might want to hang onto those raw materials.
Priceless, you know.
Now I know why the “elite” never die. Heinz, Bush, Clintons to name a few. Alas, for the Kennedys.....they die young.
Hopefully such an effort becomes good enough to replace organs grown the natural way. It would provide a means to sell human organs while bypassing the issues related to full organ sacrifice.
Alternatively, they could take cells from your body, grow tissue in a lab, then print replacement parts with no rejection issues. They are already doing something like that with cartilage for joints.