Printing Vascular Structures
Kyle.Maxey posted on September 18, 2012 |

While rapid prototyping of mechanical parts is still the mainstay of 3D printing, recent adoption of the technology by biomedical researchers has sparked interest in how additive manufacturing might be used in the future.

Doug Hendrie at Gizmag recently profiled a new advancement that couples 3D printing with tissue engineering.

“The latest advance comes from University of California, San Diego Nanoengineering Professor Shaochen Chen, whose group has demonstrated the ability to print three-dimensional blood vessels in seconds.”

While the technology is still in its research phase and will primarily be used to study cell growth, the technology could see future applications in many medical procedures including organ replacement.

Dr. Chen notes that printing vascular structures is the key to future advancements in tissue engineering. “Without the ability to print vasculature, an engineered liver or kidney, for example, is useless in regenerative medicine.”

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