Researchers at a Scottish university say the technology will speed up progress towards the creation of artificial human organs.
Scientists have taken a step closer to creating artificial human organs and using them for transplants after 3D printing produced clusters of stem cells.
In the short term, the technique could be used to generate tissue for drug-testing currently carried out on animals.
The 3D printing technology relies on an adjustable "microvalve", which builds up layers of human embryonic stem cells.
Such cells, which originate from early stage embryos, are blank slates with the potential to become any type of tissue in the body.
In the long term, the new printing technique could pave the way for those cells to be incorporated into transplant-ready laboratory-made organs and tissues, said researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.
Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney. Using similar technology, Dr. Atala’s young patient Luke Massella received an engineered bladder 10 years ago; we meet him onstage. YouTube.com
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