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Bio-Ink for 3-D Printing Inside the Body

By IEEE Spectrum

July 10, 2020

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Researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) have developed a bio-ink that can be three-dimensionally (3D) printed at human body temperature, and solidified using visible light.

Bio-inks are composed of living cells suspended in a gel and are safe for use inside people, potentially paving the way for 3D printing inside the body.

Using a 3D printing nozzle affixed to robotic machinery to dispense bio-ink in a controlled manner, the researchers were able to bio-print onto soft materials, with interlocking knobs left beneath the surface anchoring the printed structure to the body like surgical staples.

OSU's David Hoelzle said the goal is not to bio-print an entire organ, but to "augment a standard surgery by delivering a biomaterial with a tethered growth factor to jumpstart healing, or a tethered drug to prevent infection. ...We envision a biomaterial bio-ink printing tool as another tool in the surgeon's toolset."

From IEEE Spectrum
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