I don’t often discuss the printing or fabbing of biological parts, though I probably should. A quick search shows that it was December when I last posted something on the subject (reLink). So to make up for that lack of coverage, here’s a new article over on New Scientist (Link) discussing the topic and an excerpt from it:
It relies on droplets of “bioink”, clumps of cells a few hundred micrometres in diameter, which Forgacs has found behave just like a liquid.
This means that droplets placed next to one another will flow together and fuse, forming layers, rings or other shapes, depending on how they were deposited. To print 3D structures, Forgacs and his colleagues alternate layers of supporting gel, dubbed “biopaper”, with the bioink droplets. To build tubes that could serve as blood vessels, for instance, they lay down successive rings containing muscle and endothelial cells, which line our arteries and veins. “We can print any desired structure, in principle,” Forgacs told the meeting.
Sounds like some regular RP processes to me.
Quote of the month: “Bioprinting is the way to go”. I’d say “Go West, young man” is officially outdated.