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Scientists Show Off Device That Prints Jello-Like Skin Grafts

wake forest skin printer
Earlier this year, Invetech and Organovo embarked on a joint plan to "print" living tissue (quite different from the more frivolous 3-D printing exploits of other developers). Then, in April, the U.S. Army and Wake Forest University's Institute for Regenerative Medicine started talking up a skin-printing system that laser-maps a wounded area, and -- using two "print heads" -- layers the injury with skin cells, collagen, protein and clotting agents. Wake Forest researchers have finally demonstrated the skin-grafting bioprinter prototype on mice. The Institute's researchers say the finished bio-blend possesses "a consistency similar to jello -- so that [it] will adhere to the wound," according to FastCoDesign. Yum.

Technology Review reports the initial test mice experienced "advanced healing," with "complete closure" by the third week of recovery. The skin-printer is primarily intended to serve as a battlefield tool, so that injured soldiers can treat wounds that would not ordinarily heal on their own. So, while Canada actively pursues an ice-printing machine, and Japan focuses on perfume dispenser printers, Wake Forest seems close to producing a viable healing machine. Chalk one up for Stateside science, baby!

Tags: 3dprinter, BioPrinter, biotech, health, medical, medicine, militarytech, SkinGraft, top, WakeForestInstituteForRegenerativeMedicine