Australian engineers from Invetech, a company with headquarters in Melbourne, and Organovo, a firm based in San Diego, California, developed a 3D bio-printer that can prove to be very useful in creating organs for those who need them.
At this time, one of their most useful inventions can grow blood vessels. It is expected that in 5 years the arteries printed by the device could be used by surgeons when they perform open heart surgeries. The companies believe that more sophisticated organs could be developed by 2020.
To be able to print organs researchers need to place specific cells into a preferred 3D shape. There are two print heads in the bio-printer. One pin heads is where human cells are placed, while the other is used for placing a hydrogel, scaffold or support matrix.
By making use of a laser-based calibration system controlled by a computer, the device registers precision within microns. Before starting printing, the printer uses special software to build the tissue in 3D on the screen, informs SmartPlanet. Both Invetech and Organovo look forward to make their latest invention available for different research organizations that carry out studies on human tissue repair and organ replacement.