Scientists have developed a new device for building muscles and bones by borrowing technology used in inkjet printers.
The teams from Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh School of Medicine use a type of inkjet printer, which uses bio-inks made up of growth hormones which are printed on a layer of stem cells to grow biological material.
In tests on mice the team grew muscle-derived stem cells (MDSC), which are used to strengthen damaged tissues. Last year the team showed how they could be used to repair damage after a heart attack.
The custom-built ink-jet printer can deposit bio-inks in any design on fibrin-coated slides containing MDSCs. Based on pattern, dose, or the growth factor used, the MDSCs could be directed when to grow into muscle or bone.
The work is a long way from being used for human cells, but the team is exploring ways of making cartilage and fats in the future.
New inkjet prints muscle and bone
By Iain Thomson on Dec 13, 2006 9:06AM