Brigham and Women's researchers create 3D-printed blood vessels

Researchers at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital are utilizing 3D printing to fabricate new blood vessels from human cells, according to STAT.

The 3D-printed blood vessels are customizable per the particular patient and have potential to replace damaged blood vessels in patients with heart disease.

The vessels are created by a printing nozzle that forms tubes with distinct layers filled with ink made from human cells injected into a jelly-like substance. After the printing, the cells multiply until fully formed.

The research team hopes the printed blood vessels can be used to test the safety and efficacy of drugs. 

"We're [interested in] developing technology that can allow us to generate in vitro models of human vessels," Yu Shrike Zhang, PhD, an associate bioengineer in Brigham’s department of medicine, told STAT.

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