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3D-printed partial liver transplants targeted for 2020

Lucas Mearian | March 28, 2017
3D-printed liver "patches" could extend the life of transplant patients for a year or two

The liver plays a critical role in how the body metabolizes drugs and produces key proteins -- that's why printed liver models are increasingly being developed in the lab as platforms for drug screening.

3d skin printer printing skin 100462827 large.idge 
MaRS Innovations collaborated with the University of Toronto to create the PrintAlive Bioprinter, which replicates skin cells by pushing the printed tissue through several channels to create a thin film of tissue. Credit: University of Toronto

Other companies have succeeded in printing skin using a patient's own cells for grafting purposes. For example, MaRS Innovations created the PrintAlive Bioprinter in collaboration with the Innovations and Partnerships Office (IPO) of the University of Toronto to create a machine that prints skin that rolls off a mini conveyor belt.

And the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has created a 3D printer that can lay down four different types of cells at the same time. The breakthrough in that research has been the ability to create blood vessels that can feed living tissue.


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