3D printer does artificial blood vessels

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Hmmm, the world of printers might seem to be rather boring to some as improvements in this area are hardly worth reporting on – rarely making headlines, so to speak. Well, printing has taken on a new dimension with the introduction of 3D printers, as you get to deliver what your mind has conceived in an actual, 3D object – which previously you had to spend far more money elsewhere to get that done.

Guess where is another use of 3D printer applicable in our everyday lives? We’re talking about using a 3D printer to roll out artificial blood vessels, and these blood vessels might soon see action during transplants of lab-created organs.

It has been the major stumbling block until now in tissue engineering, as boffins had been scratching their heads as to how to supply artificial tissue with nutrients that require the use of capillary vessels to arrive. Why not provide artificial tissue with artificial blood vessels? That’s probably the route that a team at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany settled on, and it seems that their hard work and determination in that direction has reaped dividends, thanks to the use of 3D printing and a technique called multiphoton polymerization.

Expect the findings of this particular team to be displayed at the Biotechnica Fair in Germany when October rolls around. This would be huge in the medical world if it is found out to be safe and free from side effects, gaining international approval as it is a step in the right direction to ensure that more patients receive life-saving organ transplant surgeries. After all, the waiting list for organs often run to the thousands regardless of how developed your country is, and to grow artificial tissue that works seamlessly in a human body? That’s nothing short of a modern medical miracle.

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