A 3D Bioprinter Makes a Spinal Cord Implant in 1.6 Seconds

  • January 18, 2019
    A 3D printed, two-millimeter implant used as scaffolding to repair spinal cord injuries in rats.
    Image: Jacob Koffler and Wei Zhu/UC San Diego
    This 3D printed, two-millimeter implant was used as scaffolding to repair spinal cord injuries in rats. The dots surrounding the H-shaped core are hollow portals through which implanted neural stem cells can extend axons into tissues.

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    3D bioprinting—building tissues by putting down layers of cells and other materials—has led to the manufacturing of human tissues including corneas, skin, and blood vessels.

    Now, a team at the University of California, San Diego, is raising the bar. In a paper published this week in the journal Nature Medicine, they describe a 3D-printed spinal cord implant that restored function in the hind limbs of rats with spinal cord injuries.

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