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Scientists Use Novel Ink to 3D-Print 'Bone' With Living Cells

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A syringe in a 3d printer extruding ink into a special gel bath.

A ceramic-based ink developed by researchers at the University of New South Wales Sydney may allow surgeons to use three-dimensional printing to generate bone parts, complete with living cells.

Credit: University of New South Wales

A technology developed by researchers at Australia's University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney enables three-dimensional (3D) printers to print bone-like structures, complete with living cells.

The researchers developed an ink comprised of calcium phosphate, and their new technique, called ceramic omnidirectional bioprinting in cell-suspensions (COBICS), allows 3D printing of bone-like structures that harden in minutes when placed in water.

This marks the first time  such structures were created at room temperature without harsh chemicals or radiation, and including living cells.

UNSW's Kristopher Kilian said, "We can go directly into the bone where there are cells, blood vessels, and fat, and print a bone-like structure that already contains living cells, right in that area. There are currently no technologies that can do that directly."

From University of New South Wales (Australia)
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