*NEWS*BODY PARTS MADE FROM PAPER

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*NEWS*BODY PARTS MADE FROM PAPER

 user 2005-12-06 at 10:49:00 am Views: 59
  • #13324

    Body parts made from paper
    dec 2005
    Thin sheet Cells are sprayed onto a special paper, the basis of a new type of tissue engineering.
    Thin sheets of a gel-like material could help to turn out living tissues, blood vessels and organs, scientists say.
    The
    research, reported in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters,
    represents a new branch of tissue engineering called organ printing.
    This
    uses a printer and cell-laden ink to create spare tissues and organs, a
    technology that the researchers say could help millions of people
    worldwide.
    “It’s basically enabling part of the technology. If you
    don’t have a good bio-paper and bio-ink, you’re not going to get
    anywhere,” says Professor Glenn Prestwich, of the University of Utah.
    The
    idea behind organ printing is relatively simple: print cells onto thin
    sheets of biodegradable paper; stack thousands of sheets of the paper
    on top of each other; and when the paper disintegrates, the cells are
    left intact to form a 3D shape, such as a hollow blood vessel.
    Different types of paper
    Until
    now, scientists have tried different materials to use as the paper,
    including agarose, made from seaweed extract, and collagen, a protein
    found naturally in the body.
    But agarose does not work well in organ
    printing because it does not biodegrade. And while collagen
    biodegrades, it has a tendency to contract and shrink, which makes it
    difficult to get nutrients in and out of the embedded cells.
    The new
    bio-paper developed by Prestwich and his team from the University of
    Missouri and the Medical University of South Carolina biodegrades
    without shrinking.
    It is made by connecting long molecular chains of sugar, forming a jelly-like hydrogel.
    The
    cells are mixed with the gel and put into a standard inkjet printer
    cartridge. The machine then spits out a gel sheet embedded with
    cellular dots containing a minuscule amount, about 1 microliter each.
    Repairing tissue
    The bio-paper capitalises on the natural ability of cells to repair tissue.
    Cells
    embedded into the bio-paper secrete enzymes that eat up the hydrogel;
    produce a biological matrix for new cells; and multiply and divide to
    create new cells. Eventually, the cells migrate, fuse together, and
    become a functioning tissue.
    “Printing technology is really the next
    frontier in terms of the generation of tissues and organs,” says Dr
    Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative
    Medicine at Wake Forest University.
    Cells can already be painted by hand onto a biological scaffold.
    “This is analogous to going from a handheld paint brush to an air brush,” he says.
    The
    challenge is figuring out which printing method works best for which
    tissue and how best to incorporate the blood vessel network into the
    tissue to deliver nutrients to the cells.
    To date, Prestwich, who is
    also the founder of Salt Lake City-based Sentrx Surgical, a company
    licensed to use this technology, and his team have been able to create
    tubular shapes like blood vessels.
    He hopes that within three to six years, a version of this technology could be available to patients