Design Science

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Life Imitates Darkman and the 3D Skin Printer is Born

November 2, 2010

Christopher Jobson

OK so it doesn’t actually print the face of Liam Neeson (yet), but researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have successfully tested a bioprinter that outputs living skins cells directly onto burn wounds.

It acts just like your home printer, right down to the inkjet valve and vials of skin-cell “ink” that it sprays onto a wound. The printed skin graft consists of two separate layers — one is a mixture of skin cells with fibrinogen and Type I collagen (which each help with blood clotting and scar tissue formation, respectively); the second layer is thrombin, another clotting agent. The whole mixture has “a consistency similar to jello — so that [it] will adhere to the wound,” say the researchers.

Head over to FastCo for more.

 

 

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