Humans are squishy. That’s a problem for researchers trying to construct artificial tissues and organs, and one that two separate teams of engineers may have just solved. Using a dish of goo the consistency of mayonnaise as a supporting “bath,” a team led by biomedical engineer Adam Feinberg at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, can now print 3D biological materials that don’t collapse under their own weight as they form—a difficulty that has long stood in the way of printing soft body parts. Once printed, the structures are stiff enough to support themselves, and they can be retrieved by melting away the supportive goo. The other team, from the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, has a similar system for printing, but without the slick trick of the melting goo.
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