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New 3D Printing Technology Creates Microscopic Structures Using Human Cells

Paige Anne Carter



3D bioprinting is an important innovation in medical science. Through this wonderful innovation, researchers were able to make important applications. In fact, it is now possible for researchers to create organs like human ears; however this technology finds it difficult to create soft structures that have minute internal support. Unfortunately, 3D bioprinting still cannot print small structures like the veins or small organs because they have the tendency to collapse even before they can become viable.


A team of researcher from the University of Florida acknowledges this problem, thus, they developed a process that allows small structures to be printed out without even collapsing. The process involves injecting inks that are loaded with special gels that will hold the organs together.


What makes this particular 3D bioprinting innovation possible is the use of a hydrogel called Carbopol gel made from very small particles. This gel acts as both the liquid and solid scaffold that shears the stress applied directly on the structure. This property of the gel allows the printer to deposit the gel on the printing medium without disrupting or destroying the entire structure. The researchers were able to create different complex shapes using the 3D bioprinter and this hydrogel.


Thomas Angelini, researcher from the University of Florida, noted that the 3D bioprinting is no longer used to print solid organs. With the help of this new gel, it is now possible for doctors and medical researchers to create extensive microscopic soft tissues that can be used in transplanting different organs.


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