3-D Printed Organs a Step Closer Thanks to Artificial Vascular Network

"One of the greatest challenges to the engineering of large tissues and organs is growing a network of blood vessels and capillaries," said the scientist leading current research efforts.

What's the Latest?


A significant hurdle to creating artificial organs for transplant is being overcome by scientists at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Sydney. "Using a bio-printer, the researchers fabricated a multitude of interconnected tiny fibers to serve as the mold for the artificial blood vessels. They then covered the 3D printed structure with a cell-rich protein-based material, which was solidified by applying light to it. Lastly they removed the bio-printed fibers to leave behind a network of tiny channels coated with human endothelial cells, which self-organized to form stable blood capillaries in less than a week."

What's the Big Idea?

While small amounts of artificial tissue are already available for transplant, thousands of people die each year due to a lack of organs for transplant, according to University of Sydney researcher Luiz Bertassoni, who led the recent research. "One of the greatest challenges to the engineering of large tissues and organs is growing a network of blood vessels and capillaries," says Bertassoni. "Cells die without an adequate blood supply because blood supplies oxygen that’s necessary for cells to grow and perform a range of functions in the body."

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Greg L via Wikipedia
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