Need an organ? Just print some stem cells in 3D

Printing blobs of human embryonic stem cells is the latest step towards being able to grow organs on demand.

Researchers had already used inkjet printers to print out 2D cultures of living cells. But printing blobs of cells rather than flat sheets is closer to real tissue.

Human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, which means they are capable of becoming a cell in any type of tissue, making them attractive to those who are trying to grow new organs. But it is hard to print them, says Wenmiao Shu at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, because they are sensitive to manipulation. So Shu has modified a valve-based printer nozzle so it gently squirts out cells in blobs rather than a single layer …. http://www.newscientist.com

 

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