Living tissue to be made using special 3D printers

If researchers at Utrecht Science Park have their way, they will soon be able to fabricate living tissue using special 3D printers.

The team plans to make an investment of €775,000 ($1,050,000) in the Utrecht Biofabrication Facility, “where bioprinters will be installed to print pre-determined tissue structures layer by layer. Doctors can then use these structures to repair tissue damage in patients or for scientific research.”

With the evolvement of 3D printing, it will be easy to make living tissue in a few hours flat (which is otherwise lab grown and harvested).

“Printing 3D tissues with living cells is still a challenge, because many of the conditions under which plastics can be printed are not suitable for cells. By adjusting the printing temperature and the use of a special ‘bioink’ developed in Utrecht, it is possible to print 3D structures using living cells,” Dr. Jos Malda, veterinary medicine, Utrecht University said.

He added, “The fact that tissue structures must not only be three dimensional, but also perform a function, makes it more complex.”

Utrecht University is investing in the project as part of the Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells research programme, a European joint effort where the UMC Utrecht, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Faculty of Science all work together on innovations in health care for humans and animals.

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