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3D Printing Human Organs

3D printing has been used to construct variety of objects such as home decorations and even prosthetics. For these objects they are produced with plastic or metal materials. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon were able to modify a 3D printer to produce human tissues and organs.

The printer is able perform bioprinting by producing 3D biological materials using soft protein and polysaccharide hydrogels.  The materials are soft and fragile so during the 3D printing it would collapse on itself while it was in the air. To overcome this the researchers used a support gel to print the structures in with a technique called freeform reversible embedding of suspended hydrogels, FRESH. This gel allowed the printed structure to be fully formed with a support. Upon the conclusion of printing the support gel is melted by heating it to 37℃, body temperature.

Replicas of human coronary artery and and embryonic chick heart has been produced with this method. Using FRESH allows for low cost bioprinting and assists in tissue engineering.






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