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For years, printing a new ear, muscle, or jaw has been nothing but science fiction. That’s largely because “bio-printed” tissues haven’t been strong or large enough to implant into humans. Until now.
Over the past decade, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a new printer they’re calling the Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System. And according to research published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, it’s already outputting 3D-printed organs, bones, and muscles.
Senior study author Dr. Anthony Atala, who directs the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center made his wish for this kind of tech known back in a 2009 TED talk. “We really would like to use smart biomaterials that we can just take off the shelf and regenerate your organs,” Atala said.
And he has just gotten one step closer to that dream, while helping to close a massive organ shortage gap. Based on a whole new kind of 3D printer technology, Atala’s organ-printing system outputs an object with two different printing methods. The first is a harder plastic-like tissue-building material that shapes the body parts, while the second, a delicate water-based gel ink, holds tissue cells in place.
Read full, original post: Researchers Have 3D-Printed Usable Human Bones and Muscle