3D printer can create complex biological tissues

3D printer can create complex biological tissues

By: Claire Conley

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An engineer from the UCLA has created a technique that makes use of specially designed 3D printer to build complex biological materials from different materials. This new technique is predicted to help advance  medicine a step further and especially help in developing complex artificial tissues that can be used in transplants and other surgeries. The  3D Printer is comprises of two components. A custom made  microfluidic chip and a digital micromirror. The custom made microfluidic chip is a small, flat platform. Similar to the size of a computer chip, this chip contains multiple inlets that help print different materials. Using the device, the researchers made complex 3D structures that mimicked parts of muscle tissue and connective tissues and even printed shapes that mimicked tumours with networks of blood vessels, which could possibly be used as biological models to investigate cancers. The researchers also tested these printed structures by implanting them in mice models. The structures showed positive results. Hopefully this technology can help many people in the future.

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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180521092744.htm

In my opinion, this relates to engineering because it took lots of trail, error, and innovation to create this technology. All of these processes are part of engineering, which this printer couldn’t have been created without. Research and inspiration from past efforts was also used to create this, and that is also an important part of engineering.