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For the first time, scientists have produced 3D-printed structures made of living cells that are big enough and strong enough to replace human tissues.

A bioprinter, described today in Nature Biotechnology, was used to make ear, bone, and muscle structures out of plastic-like materials and living cells belonging either to humans, rabbits, rats, or mice. The cells survived the printing process — a feat that has not been easy to accomplish in the past — and the structures were stable enough to be successfully implanted in rodents, the researchers report. If the technology works in humans the way it has in animals, doctors may soon find themselves using bioprinters to produce replacement cartilage and bone for people who have been injured, using a patient’s own cells.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theverge.com

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