Bio-printer Tipped To Shape The Future of Transplant Medicine
The printers of the future may soon make use of living cells rather than standard printer ink to produce blood vessels or even entire organs, it has been revealed.
New technology unveiled by US firm Organovo has been cited as a major breakthrough in the quest to make body parts and material in laboratories, and thereby do away with the need for transplants.
Though still in its early stages, the 3D bio-printer uses two print heads which place tens of thousands of human cells against 'bio-paper', with the team behind the project confident that the method could soon be used to make blood vessels and possibly new hearts.
Speaking to Engineer magazine, Keith Murphy, who is heading up the research at Organovo, said: "Scientists and engineers can use the bio-printer to enable placing cells of almost any type into a desired pattern in 3D.
"Ultimately, the idea would be for surgeons to have tissue on demand for various uses," he said.
Meanwhile, Kent News has reported that printers located in hospitals in the county are often serving as refuges for germs.
By Jamie Foster