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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Regenerating Medicine in 3D

Author: Guest Writer/Tuesday, February 5, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

Here at Riled Up we normally focus on telling stories about environmental matters, natural history, and the wonder of exploration. However, occasionally a technological advance emerges that requires very close attention. One has just happened: investigators at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland have produced a breakthrough with the development of living materials made from embryonic stem-cells created by using 3D printing machines. The implications for biological based medicine are almost limitless.

3D printing is increasingly used in diverse industries ranging from clothing fabrication, to architectural modeling, and even in candy creation. The novel process produces three dimensional objects from a digital design and then builds the resulting object layer by layer with a material  laid down by the printer's jets. Using human embryonic stem cells (hESC's), that have the potential to become any type of tissue in the body, a 3D printer has constructed living 3D tissues from the cells. A full report of the breakthrough is published in Biofabrication.
In the longer term, this new method of printing may also pave the way for incorporating hESCs into artificially created organs and tissues ready for transplantation into patients suffering from a variety of diseases.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-3d-breakthrough-human-embryonic-stem.html#jCp
pave the way for incorporating hESCs into artificially created organs and tissues ready for transplantation int

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-3d-breakthrough-human-embryonic-stem.html#jCp
In the longer term, this new method of printing may also pave the way for incorporating hESCs into artificially created organs and tissues ready for transplantation into patients suffering from a variety of diseases.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-3d-breakthrough-human-embryonic-stem.html#jCp
In the longer term, this new method of printing may also pave the way for incorporating hESCs into artificially created organs and tissues ready for transplantation into patients suffering from a variety of diseases.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-3d-breakthrough-human-embryonic-stem.html#jCp
In the longer term, this new method of printing may also pave the way for incorporating hESCs into artificially created organs and tissues ready for transplantation into patients suffering from a variety of diseases.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-3d-breakthrough-human-embryonic-stem.html#jCp


Will Shu and Stem Cells  (credit: Heriot-Watt University/UK Telegraph)

Dr. Will Shu, one of the lead researchers on the Scotland project, said: "We found that the valve-based printing is gentle enough to maintain high stem cell viability, accurate enough to produce spheroids of uniform size, and most importantly, the printed hESCs maintained their pluripotency - the ability to differentiate into any other cell type."


Such a constructed bio-fabrics have the potential to be used to design hearts, lungs, kidneys or any other tissues for transplantation into patients with damaged organs. Creating more 3D tissues from stem-cells in Dr. Shu's laboratory will now be tried.

Like Guttenburg and the revolution he spawned with his printing press, let the bio-engineering with 3D printers using stem-cells begin. A revolution in regenerative medicine will follow.

WHB

To learn more about the revolution being catalyzed by 3D printing, check out this BBC report on the technology here:




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