christopher heiser <christopher AT heiser DOT net>
Date Published: March 21st, 2008
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Make Sure Your Printer Toner Cartridge is Full...of Cells

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that researchers are starting to create complex organ structures with printers:

A tissue-engineering group has succeeded in creating functional blood vessels and cardiac tissue, using a 'printer' that dispenses cells instead of ink...[the group] printed various tissue structures, including blood vessels and sheets of cardiac tissue. When they printed out cardiac and endothelial cells, the cells fused into a tissue after 70 hours, and began beating in time like regular heart tissue after 90 hours.

Their work relies on the innate capacities of the cells to create capillaries and other finishing touches on their own. "We will never be able to print a liver with all of its many details," says Forgacs. "But it is not necessary. If you initiate the process, nature will do it for you."

I can already see a re-imagining of The Wizard Of Oz, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard.

by Christopher Heiser on March 21 07:13
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