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3D Bioprinter

November 2, 2015

3D printers can now create functional soft tissues like arteries.


Printed Brain TJ Hinton

A miniatured 3D replica of a human brain. (TJ Hinton/Carnegie Mellon University)


3D bioprinting. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Need a new heart? Or how about a whole new brain? Carnegie Mellon engineers report in Science Advances that they’ve developed a method for replicating soft tissues using a 3D printer.

ADAM FEINBERG (Carnegie Mellon University):

Traditional 3D printers print hard materials, and we’re trying to move that into a whole new range of soft materials that will eventually allow us to print living things.


That’s engineer Adam Feinberg. He says the biggest challenge has been keeping these replicas from collapsing under their own weight during the printing process. But his team gets around this by injecting one jello-like protein and carbohydrate mixture into second, similar gel.

ANDREW FEINBERG (Carnegie Mellon University):

And that gel acts as a support and really allows us to accurately position layer by layer. When we’re all done, we raise the temperature, and that actually melts this translucent support bath and then we can remove the part we printed.


So far, they’ve printed miniaturized replicas of human brains, functional arteries, and more. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

3D Printer Video_10 Artery Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering

A 3D printed coronary arterial tree. (Adam Feinberg Lab/Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering)