Researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have created a hybrid piece of technology for low cost fabrication.

Researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have merged two systems to create a method for 3D printing cartilage. They created a hybrid printer that combines the low-cost fabrication techniques of an electrospinning machine and a traditional ink jet printer.

Scientists were able to build a structure made from natural and synthetic materials that ensured it was strong and promted cell growth. In their study, flexible mats of electrospun synthetic polymer were combined with a solution of cartilage cells from a rabbit ear deposited using the printer. The cartilage constructs maintained their functional characteristics in the laboratory and a real-life system. They could eventually be implanted into injured patients to help re-grow cartilage in specific areas, such as the joints.

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