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Scientists Create Synthetic Human Tongue Using 3D Printing


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This three-dimensionally printed negative mold shows holes for the filiform and fungiform papillae - the small, nipple-like structures on the upper surface of the tongue.

University of Leeds researchers have developed of what they are calling the first biomimetic tongue using three-dimensional (3D) printing.

Credit: Daily Mail

Researchers at the University of Leeds in the U.K. report the development of what they are calling the first biomimetic tongue using three-dimensional (3D) printing.

The researchers used digital scans of human tongues to 3D-print the device, whose synthetic silicone structure mimics the human tongue's elasticity, “wettability,” and texture.

Said Leeds’ Efren Andablo-Reyes, "We aimed to replicate these mechanically relevant characteristics of the human tongue in a surface that is easy to use in the lab to replicate oral processing conditions."

The synthetic tongue could be used to detect counterfeit food and orally administered pharmaceuticals, and to help develop new nutritional technologies.

From Daily Mail (U.K.)

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