6 Advances in 3D Bioprinting of Living Tissue

In recent years, 3D bioprinting has made huge strides toward the goal of printing of organs that can be successfully transplanted into humans. While that’s still far in the future, the method continues to be studied and perfected and advances can lead to new and improved treatments for conditions such as spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, brain cancer, and much more.

The 3D printing of living cells follows standard 3D printing methods, with a few twists. The printer, following a CAD file, lays down layer upon layer of material to build a shape. Instead of metals or plastics, bioprinters use bioinks as their materials. These contain living cells amid viscous materials like alginate or gelatin. The cells are often built upon scaffolding to support and protect the cells.

There have been many recent developments that are pushing the 3D bioprinting field forward. Here are six major advances.

Printing Living Skin with Blood Vessels

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Yale University use a liquid bioink derived from human skin cells to print artificial skin. A blood vessel system then grows naturally within the skin…