Home Medical Researchers Create “Living” Blood Vessels Using 3D Bioprinting Technology

Researchers Create “Living” Blood Vessels Using 3D Bioprinting Technology

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have made a breakthrough in 3D bioprinting by creating functional human blood vessels.

The team led by Lab research engineer Monica Moya used bio-ink and a 3D printer to create structures with living cells and biomaterials, that eventually develop human capillaries on their own. Initially, only the tubes are printed to deliver essential nutrients to the surrounding printed environment. After some time, the self-assembled capillaries are able to connect with the 3D bioprinted tubes and deliver nutrients to the cells.

“If you take this approach of co-engineering with nature you allow biology to help create the finer resolution of the printed tissue,” Moya explains. “We’re leveraging the body’s ability for self-directed growth, and you end up with something that is more true to physiology. We can put the cells in an environment where they know, ‘I need to build blood vessels.’ With this technology we guide and orchestrate the biology.

3D bioprinting contributes to the laboratory’s iCHIP project, aimed at replicating the human body on a micro scale.“Having the ability to control the 3D structural environment, along with growing vessel networks to support the growing tissue, is one part of replicating the complexity of the human body,” explains Elizabeth Wheeler, Lab research engineer at LLNL.

Moya added: “Although printing implantable organs is not in the immediate future, our bioprinted tissue patches can be applied to toxicology studies, medical treatment testing and provide a test bed for fundamental science.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

3DPresso is a weekly newsletter that links to the most exciting global stories from the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry.

Privacy Policy*

You can find the privacy policy for the newsletter here. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time. For further questions, you can contact us here.