*NEWS*ORGANS SOON TO BE PRINTABLE

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*NEWS*ORGANS SOON TO BE PRINTABLE

 user 2006-01-10 at 10:15:00 am Views: 69
  • #13561

    Researchers believe organs will soon be printable
    A collaborative study between three universities, led by University of Missouri-Columbia biological physics professor Gabor Forgacs, claims that it will soon be possible to print organs out using bio-ink and bio-paper, and so far the study has produced tubes similar to blood vessels and sheets of heart muscle cells.
     * Led by University of Missouri-Columbia biological physics professor Gabor Forgacs and aided by a $5 million National Science Foundation grant, researchers at three universities have developed bio-ink and bio-paper that could make so-called organ printing a reality.
        * So far, they’ve made tubes similar to human blood vessels and sheets of heart muscle cells, printed in three dimensions on a special printer.
        * “I think this is going to be a biggie,” said Glenn D. Prestwich, the University of Utah professor who developed the bio-paper.
        * “A lot of things are going to be a pain in the butt to print, but I think we can do livers and kidneys as well.”
        * Prestwich guessed initial human organ printing may be five or 10 years away.
        * Once the stack is the right size — maybe two centimeters’ worth of sheets, each containing a ring of blots, for a tube resembling a blood vessel — printing stops.
        * The stack is incubated in a bioreactor, where cells fuse with their neighbors in all directions.
        * The bio-paper works as a scaffold to support and nurture cells, and should be eaten away by them or naturally degrade, researchers said.
        * Though it can take less than two minutes to print a sheet of bio-paper with bio-ink, it can take about a week for such a tube to fuse, Forgacs said.
        * It’s currently feasible to print tubes, Prestwich explained, because the printers output bio-paper in a sort of ever-ascending spiral, like a Slinky.
        * Helen Lu, director of the Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Laboratory at Columbia University, thinks organ printing could eventually work.
        * Still, she cautioned that scientists must determine additional details such as how blood vessels are formed in skin, because simply implanting them might not be optimal.