Scientists Successfully 3D-Print Living Skin with Blood Vessels

A team of researchers including one of Indian origin have found a way to create living skin with blood vessels using 3D printers, as per a report in The Times of India.

This is a significant step forward towards creating skin grafts.

Pankaj Karande, an associate professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US.“Right now, whatever is available as a clinical product is more like a fancy Band-Aid.”

"It provides some accelerated wound healing, but eventually it just falls off; it never really integrates with the host cells," said Karande

Also Read: New 3D Printing Strategy May Lead to Better Medicinal Implants

How Does It Work?

Three dimensional (3D) bioprinters work by combining cells, growth factors and bio-material to fabricate biomedical parts capable of imitating the characteristics of natural tissues.

The tests run on mice showed positive results with the bioprinted skin forming biologically relevant vascular structure. The cells also started successfully communicating.

Pankaj Karande.“That is extremely important, because we know there is actually a transfer of blood and nutrients to the graft which is keeping the graft alive.”

The research is still in its initial stages of testing and the next step would be to edit the donor cells using something like CRISPR gene-editing technology so that the vessels can be fully integrated and accepted by the patient’s body.

Although we are a long way from being able to create grafts for treating burn victims, it is the eventual goal. In the mean time, they can be helpful in the treatment of diabetic and pressure ulcers according to the researchers.

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Also Read: Gene-Editing Tool CRISPR Repurposed to Develop Better Antibiotics

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