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.
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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