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Bioengineers’ Unique Technique Eases 3D Printing Replacement Organs

Bioengineers have cleared a major obstacle on the way to 3D bio-printing and organs replacement with a breakthrough technique. Rice University’s bioengineers and Kelly Stevens from the University of Washington predominantly led the research work on this. However, their new invention – a hydrogel model has allowed scientists in creating several entangled vascular networks which can mimic human body’s natural passageways.

According to an assistant bioengineering professor, Jordan Miller, the major hindrances in tissue replacements came from the inability of printing complex vasculatures. Such vasculatures play a crucial role in supplying nutrients to the densely populated tissues in an organ. Although, Miller further added that human’s organs contain individual vascular networks which are biochemically and physically entangled.

Professor Stevens emphasized on multivascularization, since tissue function and formation often went hand in hand in cases of many organs. However, researchers’ new bio-printing technology also assures to address the multivascularization’s challenge in a comprehensive as well as direct way.

New Bio-Printing System Can Produce Numerous Intravascular Features 

Previously, researchers’ unique open source bio-printing technology used additive manufacturing for making one soft hydrogel’s layer at a time. However, bioengineers breakthrough technique helped in speeding up the development of technology related to 3D printing tissues and organs.

Researchers carried out an experiment with liver cells to explore whether they would function smoothly if integrated with a bio-printed implant. Their goal behind bio-printing healthy functional organs was to initiate easy transplantation of human’s organs in case of emergency. Moreover, 3D bio-printing gained researchers’ attentions due to the advantage of using patients ‘own cells during printing replacement organs. Therefore, 3D bio-printing of organs do not require a lifetime of immune-suppressing drugs in order to prevent tissue/organ rejection. However, Professor Miller hopes for bio-printing to become a major component of medicine in the upcoming years.

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