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Scientists Engineer 3D-Printed Bricks That Aid in Bone, Soft Tissue Repair


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The 3D-printed microcage technology.

Oregon Health & Science University researchers built three-dimensionally printed bricks that can be used to heal broken bones and damaged soft tissue.

Credit: Oregon Health & Science University

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have built three-dimensionally printed bricks that can be used to heal broken bones and damaged soft tissue.

Measuring 0.06 inches cubed, the Lego-inspired bricks act as scaffolding on which both hard and soft tissue can regrow, with small amounts of gel containing various growth factors inserted into the hollow blocks and placed where needed most.

The cubes also function like "microcages" and can be stacked in thousands of different configurations to repair complex bone fractures.

The study found that in rat bones, the blocks resulted in three times more blood vessel growth than conventional scaffolding material.

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