3D bio-printers to print skin and body parts

February 25, 2011 | Source: PhysOrg.com

An ear made of silicone using a 3D bio-printer (Cornell University)

Scientists are developing 3D “bioprinters” that will be able to print out skin, cartilage, bone, and other body parts.

Professor James Yoo, from the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University is developing a system that will allow them to print skin directly onto burn wounds. The bioprinter has a built-in laser scanner that scans the wound and determines its depth and area. The scan is converted into three-dimensional digital images that enable the device to calculate how many layers of skin cells need to be printed on the wound to restore it to its original configuration.

Cornell University’s Computational Synthesis Laboratory, Professor Hod Lipson, who demonstrated a bioprinter by printing an ear, working from a scan of a human ear and a computer file containing the three-dimensional coordinates. The ear was printed using silicone gel instead of real human ear cells.