Bioprinting bones and muscles: The inkjet cell printers shaping the future of transplants

bioprinted-structures14 years ago, most businesses hadn’t even heard of 3D printing, let alone experimented with printing objects in material like plastic or metal. But one research institute was already laying the foundation for building its own 3D printer for an altogether more complex material: human tissue.

Tissue and organs transplants have been used in medicine for decades to help patients whose own tissue has become diseased or damaged — skin grafts for burns victims, for example, or using a piece of patellar tendon to replace a ruptured ligament. Typically they come from donors or are moved from a healthy part of a patient’s body to a damaged part, but scientists from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) have developed a prototype printer that could one day be used to print tissue sections designed to fit a person’s unique condition.

By Jo Best | ZDNet

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