3D Printers Create Liquid Scaffolds, Paving the Way for Artificial Tissue

For all the weird uses of 3D printing, there are many that stand to make the world a better place. One of those is printing liquid scaffolds for use in artificial human tissue engineering, according to C&EN. With these new scaffolds, engineers are expected to have better control over tissue growth when attempting to grow artificial tissue.

Video and image credit: C&EN

Although 3D printers are known for creating solid objects, the custom 3D printer developed by researchers at Oxford University prints liquid droplets. The printer sprays these water droplets (which have been injected with lipids) into an oil/water mixture, at which point the droplets attach to each other, forming scaffolds. Those scaffolds may prove to be better (for creating tissue) than the gel and solid scaffolds in use today. Researchers hope to inject various cells into the droplets to create living tissue.