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[IP] Living tissue to be hot off the printer

>From Reuters:


Short link to same story:


And do keep in mind, folks, using this technology to grow organs is 
still quite a ways off, but it does give another avenue that might 

Living Tissue to Be Hot Off the Printer 

Wed January 22, 2003 02:46 PM ET 

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists are turning to desktop printers in an 
effort to produce three dimensional tubes of living tissue and 
possibly even entire organs.
Instead of using a degradable scaffold and covering it with cells to 
produce tissue, scientists in the United States are modifying ink jet 
printers and using cells to create 3D structures.

"The work is a first step toward printing complex tissues or even 
entire organs," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

Although producing organs is a very long way away, many laboratories 
are printing arrays of DNA, proteins and even cells.

Vladimir Mironov, of the Medical University of South Carolina, and 
Thomas Boland, of Clemson University in the same state, have used a 
non-toxic, biodegradable gel and animal cells to make the structures.

"By printing alternate layers of the gel and clumps of cells on to 
glass slides, they have shown 3D structures such as tubes can be 
built," according to the magazine.

If the layers are thin enough the cells fuse when they come in 
contact with each other and bits of tissue are formed. When the 
structure is finished the gel can be removed.

"Like printing with different colors, placing different types of 
cells in the ink cartridges should make it possible to recreate 
complex structures consisting of multiple cells," the magazine 

But before scientists can produce organs they will have to solve the 
problem of creating circulatory networks to provide oxygen and 
nutrients to the cells in the structures.

But the scientists hope it will be possible.

"This could have the same kind of impact that Gutenberg's press did," 
said Mironov.
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