Researchers develop method to 3D print complex vasculature
Researchers developed a method to bioprint vascular networks which constitutes a major step in being able to 3D print replacement organs, according to Rice University.The new innovation allows scientists to create entangled vascular networks that mimic the body's natural passageways for blood, air, lymph and other vital fluids, according to the Rice article.
The research is featured on the cover of Science magazine.
The work was led by bioengineers Jordan Miller of Rice University and Kelly Stevens of the University of Washington (UW) and included 15 collaborators from Rice, UW, Duke University, Rowan University and Nervous System, a design firm in Somerville, Massachusetts, according to the article.
Miller and Stevens are BMES members.
"One of the biggest road blocks to generating functional tissue replacements has been our inability to print the complex vasculature that can supply nutrients to densely populated tissues," Miller said in the article. Miller is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice's George R. Brown School of Engineering. "Further, our organs actually contain independent vascular networks -- like the airways and blood vessels of the lung or the bile ducts and blood vessels in the liver,” Miller continued.
Stevens, assistant professor of bioengineering in the UW College of Engineering, assistant professor of pathology in the UW School of Medicine, and an investigator at the UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, said multivascularization is important because form and function often go hand in hand.
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