3D Printing technology has recently leapt into a new realm
— we’ve seen printers that can create entire buildings out of stone, delicious meals out of simple ingredients, and now — perhaps weirdest and coolest of them all — a printer that can build body parts from cells! Scientists working on the Organovo NovoGen printer recently created the first “printed” human vein. This technology could replace other toxic and carbon-heavy medicinal practices like using artificial parts in the human body.
The printer is meant to be used in regenerative medicine. Instead of borrowing body parts from someone else — or yourself — the printer will just make a new part for you. The printer is loaded with cartridges of “bio-ink” a substance that acts as a kind of scaffolding for the cells to retain their shape. A sophisticated computer is linked to the printer that is pre-programmed with the 3D blueprint of whatever is being made. The computer instructs the printer to lay down two dimensional layers of bio ink and cells that eventually form into the 3D body part.
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