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Ink Jet Bioprinter Creates New Skin And Tissue

April 21, 2010

Bioprinting is a new technology that uses ordinary ink jet printers to create new tissue, nerves and blood vessels. Developed by biotech company Organovo, this technology uses bio ink made of cell aggregates fused together. The printer lines up cellular aggregates then deposits them very gently, according to a design that a technician programs into the printer system. A big advantage of this system is it uses the patient’s own cell attributes, thereby eliminating the risk of rejection. Cells taken from a patient are cultured to grow, then bio ink is created from the cell cultures. This “ink” is genetically identical to the patient’s tissue. The first application of this technology will be to treat burns and wounds. The process is only working in the laboratory and years away from clinical testing and FDA approval. However, it is not hard to imagine how this process could change medicine and eventually how new organs could be produced using this process.

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