TCT Magazine reports on yet another astounding medical breakthrough fueled by the wonder of 3D printing.
“A group of Chinese medical researchers have used 3D printing to create natural blood vessels. Scientists at Sichuan Revotek developed the world’s first bio-printer in 2015 and have finally begun to produce fully functional blood vessels. The process uses bio ink made up of living stem cells from rhesus monkeys, before the printer fuses layers of new cells to the old ones.” Eventually, the new and old cells will start growing as one.
Kang Yujian, Chief Scientist at Sichuan Revotek, explains: “in five days, the new layer of endodermis will be formed. Meanwhile, the smooth muscle cells will grow as well. Within 28 days all these cells will go through tissue differentiation. That means the tissue we implanted will have mingled with the original ones and grow into a regular vessel. This is unprecedented.”
Following the development of this astounding bio-printer, the scientists began experimenting on 30 rhesus monkeys. “After months of observation, scientists discovered the 3D printed vessels had completely blended.” More importantly, all the monkeys remained in good condition as well.
Sichuan Revotek’s new bio-printer is so efficient “ten-centimeter blood vessels can be printed in just two minutes, thanks to its two nozzles. At the heart of the technology is a stem cell culture system. This consists of seed cells and bio-links filled with growth factors and nutrients. When combined with other materials, the 3D bioprinter creates layered cell structures, [which] can be cultivated to form tissues with other physiological functions.”
Dai Kerong, an Academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is astounded at this marvel: “printing 3D blood vessels is quite remarkable. If we can apply this technology to blood vessels then we can also use it on livers, kidneys, and other organs. That is how groundbreaking this technology is.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of TCT Magazine