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Scientists use novel ink to 3D-print ‘bone’ with living cells

Scientists use novel ink to 3D-print ‘bone’ with living cells

Written by David

January 26, 2021


3D printers may one day become a permanent fixture of the operating theatre after UNSW scientists showed they could print bone-like structures containing living cells.


Scientists have worked out how to print bone-like structures using a 3D-printer and a gelatinous ‘bath’ containing living cells.


Scientists from UNSW Sydney have developed a ceramic-based ink that may allow surgeons in the future to 3D-print bone parts complete with living cells that could be used to repair damaged bone tissue. Using a 3D-printer that deploys a special ink made up of calcium phosphate, the scientists developed a new technique, known as ceramic omnidirectional bioprinting in cell-suspensions (COBICS), enabling them to print bone-like structures that harden in a matter of minutes when placed in water.


While the idea of 3D-printing bone-mimicking structures is not new, this is the first time such material can be created at room temperature – complete with living cells – and without harsh chemicals or radiation, says Dr Iman Roohani from UNSW’s School of Chemistry. “This is a unique technology that can produce structures that closely mimic bone tissue,” he says. “It could be used in clinical applications where there is a large demand for in situ […]

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