BUFFALO, NY – It sounds like science fiction: A machine dips into a shallow tub of translucent yellow goo and pulls out what becomes a life-size hand.
But the seven-second video, accelerating from 19 minutes, is real.
The hand, which would take six hours to create using conventional 3D printing methods, demonstrates what engineers at the University of Buffalo say is progress toward 3D-printed human tissues and organs, a biotechnology that could eventually save countless lost lives. due to a shortage of donor organs. .
“The technology we have developed is 10 to 50 times faster than the industry standard and works with large sample sizes that were previously very difficult to achieve,” says study co-lead author Ruogang Zhao, PhD, associate professor. of Biomedical Engineering.
The work is described in a study published February 15 in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.
It focuses on a 3D printing method called stereolithography and gelatinous materials known as hydrogels, which are used to create, among other things, diapers, contact lenses, and scaffolds in tissue engineering.
This latest app is particularly useful in 3D printing, and it’s something the research team spent much of their effort optimizing to achieve their incredibly fast and accurate 3D printing technique.
“Our method enables rapid printing of centimeter-sized hydrogel models. It significantly reduces part deformation and cell damage caused by prolonged exposure to environmental stresses commonly seen in conventional 3D printing methods.” says the other co-lead author, Chi Zhou, PhD, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering.
The researchers say the method is particularly well suited for printing cells with integrated blood vessel networks, a fledgling technology that is expected to be a central part of the production of 3D-printed human tissues and organs.
The study’s first authors include former UB students Nanditha Anandakrishnan, PhD, now a postdoctoral researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Hang Ye, PhD, now a scientific researcher at SprintRay Inc. Zipeng Guo, a current PhD candidate At Zhou’s lab, he is also first author.
Additional UB co-authors are from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, which is a joint program of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; and the Jacobs School Department of Medicine.
Other study co-authors are from the VA Western New York Healthcare System; the Department of Cellular Stress Biology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; and the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at Syracuse University.
The work was supported with funds from the National Institute of Bioengineering and Biomedical Imaging of the National Institutes of Health. Additional funding was provided by the UB Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Jacobs Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
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