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Breakthrough: ‘Living’ Ear, Bone and Muscle 3D-Printed – Discovery News

by • February 15, 2016 • No Comments

Organ printing is getting nearer and nearer to reality.
In a breakthrough study, researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine announce that they’ve utilized an high end 3-D printing device to turn it into sections of bone, muscle and cartilage that all functioned like the real thing when implanted in animals.
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The advance may manufacture it possible to custom print replacement body parts and organs for anyone.
The thought of printing tissue is not new. For years now, scientists have been via bioprinting devices to exactly lay down cells in specific patterns with the goal of creating a piece of bone or organ.
But the innovation has not created its way into mainstream medicine for the reason of the limitations that yet exit.
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In the human body, cells grow and thrive thanks to blood vessels that donate them with oxygen and nutrients.
But when living cells are printed, they must be suspended in a few kind of biologically compatible matrix until they can grow and create into the final body part.
Keeping them alive has been a challenge since these structures lack blood vessels, that are too tiny and delicate to be printed.
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And in fact if scientists have figured out a way to store cells alive, the resulting structures have proved unstable and too fragile to be implanted into a living being.
At Wake Forest, a research team led by Anthony Atala, createed a matrix embedded with microchannels — a sort of bio-sponge — that allows for nutrients and oxygen to flow freely to the cells anywhere in the structure.
To manufacture a specific kind of tissue, the scientists shaped the bio-sponge, that is created of a biodegradable material, into the custom form. Next, they infutilized it with a water-based gel that contained the living cells.
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The cells were allowed to grow and and so the structure was implanted in an animal. Over time, the matrix biodegraded and the cells took hold on their own in the desired shape.
In the study, the scientists discovered that after two months the ears, implanted in mice, had kept their shape.
Muscles cells prompted nerve formation in rats and bone implants in fact triggered the formation of blood vessels after five months.
Eventually, such tissues can require to be studied in humans. Because this research was funded in part by the US Army, it’s just a matter of time preceding this kind of innovation can be utilized to assist folks, maybe starting with soldiers injured on the battlefield.
via Nature Bioinnovation

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