Printing tissue is the latest rage and 3D printing continues make advancements in medical technology. The latest breakthrough proves yet again that 3D printing will have a viable part in the future of biotechnology and medicine.
According to an article on KVUE, researchers at the University of Texas have found a way to 3D print tissue, including skin. This technology could one day help to treat wounds and other medical issues.
According to the university, this biomedical research started with a simple idea. “When I looked around the lab, I saw an old ink jet printer standing there, and I thought, ‘Oh, this would be great to make patterns,’” said Thomas Boland, Professor and Director of the university’s biomedical engineering program.
Ten years of work led to technology that allows the transfer of cell patterns onto tissue using inkjet cartons.
“You empty out the ink and cut the top off, and then we put a little tube in there,” said Boland, demonstrating how the cartridges work.
Thomas Boland and his team have printed tissue that was successfully grafted onto mice. According to KVUE, that work is under peer review and should be published soon.
While the ultimate goal is 3D printing is to create skin and other tissue, using tissue in humans requires extensive research, and would require undergoing a stringent approval process from the FDA. The process could take years. Still, the research that Boland and his students are conducting shows the promise that 3D printing may hold for the future.