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3D Printing Self-Folding, Synthetic Tissues
Added Apr 9, 2013 | Rate View top rated
Oxford University scientists have built a custom, programmable 3D printer that can create materials similar to living tissues. The new material consists of thousands of connected water droplets, encapsulated within lipid films, which can perform some of the functions of the cells inside our bodies. These printed droplet networks could be the building blocks of a new kind of technology for delivering drugs and could potentially replace or interface with damaged human tissues. Because the droplet networks are entirely synthetic, have no genome, and do not replicate, they avoid some of the problems associated with other approaches to creating artificial tissues – such as those that use stem cells. The droplet networks can fold themselves into different shapes, powered by osmolarity differences that generate water transfer between droplets.
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