Scientists at the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Germany are successful in using a 3D printer to create artificial blood vessels.
For a long time researchers have been unable to supply artificial tissue with nutrients because they don't have the necessary vascular system. The structures of capillary vessels are so complex and tiny that it is too difficult to build.
Despite numerous attempts in tissue engineering to create synthetic capillaries, only until recently is there a big progress. Thanks to multiphoton polymerisation, a technique that works with various lasers on a small surface. The scientists combine the 3D printer with twophoton polymerization to make highly precise and elastic structures. The material becomes solid and it can be easily incorporated into human tissue. The artificial blood vessels have been coated with special polymers, so they are not rejected by the immune system.
This is an important development for making organs in a laboratory environment.
According project manager Dr Günter Tovar, this is still in the test phase. But there will be enormous possiblities for this techonology. In future scientists expect to build up artificial organs using artificial blood vessels to supply them with nutrients.
The scientists is going to demonstrate their invention during the Biotechnica Fair in Germany next month.
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