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 user 2005-02-17 at 1:02:00 pm Views: 53
  • #10314
    Skin and bones ‘made to measure’
    Scientists are developing an inkjet printer that can create
    “made to measure” skin and bones to treat people with severe burns or

    The University of Manchester team say the inkjets will be able to “print out”
    tailor-made human cells to fit a patient’s exact dimensions.

    Human cells are suspended in a nutrient-rich liquid before being printed out
    in several thin layers.

    Project leaders say the method could be used to build an organ in a day.

    We can place cells in any designed position in
    order to grow tissue or bone

    Prof Brian Derby
    Prof Brian Derby, head of the Ink-jet Printing of Human Cells
    Project research team, said the technology has tremendous potential.

    He said: “It is difficult for a surgeon to reconstruct any complex
    disfiguring of the face using CT scans, but with this technology we are able to
    build a fragment which will fit exactly.

    “We can place cells in any designed position in order to grow tissue or bone.

    “Using conventional methods, you are only able to grow tissues which are a
    few millimetres thick, which is fine for growing artificial skin, but if you
    wanted to grow cartilage, for instance, it would be impossible.”

    The printers create three-dimensional structures, known as tissue scaffolds.

    They are made up of several thin layers of human cells, each 10 microns thick
    - 1,000 cell layers would measure 1cm thick.