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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

 

Don’t Bring Home the Bacon, Print It

`Tissue engineers like Vladimir Mironov of the Medical University of South Carolina, and Thomas Boland of Clemson University, have been printing biomaterials with modified ink-jet printers.

The cartridges are washed out and refilled with suspensions of living cells; the software that controls the characteristics of the ink is reprogrammed and you’re good to go. Boland and Mironov use layers of “thermo-reversable” gel to build up three-dimensional structures like tubesócapillaries, to use the medical term. When the tiny droplets, or clumps, of cells came together closely, they fused; the gel can be easily removed, leaving a tube of tissue.’




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