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Scientists 3D Print Blood Vessels Using Sugar [Video]

Researchers move a step closer to creating an artificial lab-grown organs.

Yi Chen
Yi Chen on July 5, 2012. @yiiee


Although cell biologists have managed to take big leaps in growing lab-made tissues, it is still virtually impossible to recreate the complex 3D blood vessel networks. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT have found a solution to create networks of delicate blood vessels using an open-source 3D printer and some sugar.

The RepRap 3D printer is able to quickly print a custom template of intricate networks out of a mixture of sucrose, glucose, and dextran. Then, cells suspended in a bio-gel fills the template. Once the sugar dissolves,  what’s left is a network of artery-like channels.

Being able to successfully grow vessels in labs can help researchers move a step closer to creating a synthetic liver in the future.

University of Pennsylvania

 

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