“Bioprinters”, or 3D printers that can print organic matter, aren’t exactly a new concept – a patent for the technology can be found as far back as 2004.
One of the end goals of this avenue of 3D printing is to one day be able to create functioning human organs. A stumbling block in the process is the creation of blood vessels, something that is crucial for the creation of more complex prints.
Now, a Chinese company called Revotek has created an as-yet-unnamed printer that it claims can print a 10 cm-long blood vessel in only two minutes by utilizing two alternating printing nozzles.
The printer achieves this with stem cells and the core of the machine called “BioBrick”. The stem cells are exposed to environments and conditions that change them into the cells required for printing.
Dai Kerong, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, says this printer is “useful in blood vessel printing, and in the printing of livers, kidneys and other organs.” However, he also states that it will be “a long time” before it can be used in applied medicine.
No date of release, price or availability of the printer was announced.[Source – CCTV+ on Youtube]