Bioengineers are one step closer to 3D printing organs and tissues. A team led by Rice University and the University of Washington have developed a tool to 3D print complex and “exquisitely entangled” vascular networks. These mimic the body’s natural passageways for blood, air, lymph and other fluids, and they will be essential for artificial organs.
In a new study published today in Science Advances, researchers present a 3D-printable ink that contains bacteria and they say that depending on what species of bacteria it holds, the ink stands to have a number of useful applications. “Printing using bacteria-containing hydrogels has enormous potential, as there is such a wide range of useful bacteria out there,” Patrick Rühs, an author of the study, said in a statement.
Wheelchairs are rarely as comfortable as you’d like. You either have to settle for a generic design or wait ages for a custom model that might still be a little awkward. However, London design firm Layer might have a better way: it’s unveiling Go, a prototype wheelchair that could be easier to live with. The design has manufacturers scanning your body so that they can 3D-print seats and footrests that match your exact dimensions. It’d be more comfortable, of course, but it’d also account for your weight and create an ideal center of gravity that reduces the chances of tipping over or sliding.
You might be familiar with the concept of 3D-printed medical equipment, but you’re going to have to get used to seeing 3D-printed medicine, too. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved its first drug manufactured using 3D printing, Aprecia’s epilepsy-fighting Spritam.