Using 3D printers to make blood vessels

A research team at Brigham and Women's Hospital have been using a new technique that allows for intricate yet capable designs to 3D printed blood vessels. The technique, despite being in its infancy, is already opening doors to valuable research opportunities previously unavailable to science.

This breakthrough could lead to both custom-made replacement tissues for your body as well as true-to-life drug testing that doesn't involve a real human's bloodstream.

In a process known as bioprinting, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have successfully “printed” these tiny structures using “bio-ink,” a sort of organic material that is compatible with the human body. And best of all, the process allows for these blood vessels to grow themselves, creating a self-sustaining system that behaves like the real thing. Read More 

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory say “Although printing implantable organs is not in the immediate future, our bioprinted tissue patches can be applied to toxicology studies, medical treatment testing and provide a test bed for fundamental science,”