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3D Printing Inside the Body Could Patch Stomach Ulcers

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Bioprinting micro robot deposits live human cells onto a lab dish inside a transparent plastic model of a stomach.

Bioprinting cells in a plastic model of a stomach.

Credit: Wenxiang Zhao

\Researchers at Tsinghua University in China developed a micro robot that could take advantage of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to lay down new tissues directly inside the body, as opposed to printing living tissues outside the body and then implanting them.

The robot is just 30 millimeters wide and can fold to a length of 43 millimeters; once inserted into the body using an endoscope, it unfolds to become 59 millimeters long.

In an effort to devise a less-invasive means of treating stomach lesions, the researchers inserted the robot into a transparent plastic model of a stomach, where it printed gels containing human stomach lining and stomach muscle cells.

The printed cells remained viable and steadily proliferated over a 10-day period.

Said Tsinghua University's Tao Xu, "This study is the first attempt to combine micro robots and bioprinting together."

From Scientific American
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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