Feeds

3D printing for artificial blood vessels

Igor! Fire the laser!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

In Pay the Printer, Philip K Dick imagined a species called “Printers” who could organically create perfect copies of complex objects. In this world, the increasingly-popular 3D printer can’t create a car, but its ability to produce simple 3D objects is being used to create blood vessels.

The researchers, led by Fraunhofer’s Dr Günter Tovar, have combined 3D printing with multiphoton polymerization to create an artificial blood vessel, which they will be demonstrating at the Hannover Biotechnica Fair in October.

A 3D printer can’t build things on a small enough scale to create a structure as small as a blood vessel, so instead, it is used to lay down a substrate that the blood vessel will be created in.

In multiphoton polymerization, the creation of polymers in the target material is triggered by a focused laser. This allows the formation of polymer chains to be controlled at the nano scale.

By combining the two, the researchers have found that they can create the target material very quickly, using the laser to create the artificial blood vessel.

The other key development is in the materials used: you need a material that can be turned into a polymer, but that can also be bonded to living tissue. Merely creating a small, plastic tube the same size and shape as a blood vessel isn’t enough.

The 3D printer is loaded with inks that contain both synthetic polymers and the modified biological molecules, including heparin (a useful anti-coagulant) and anchor peptides. The finished vessels also have to include endothelial cells, and they have to mimic natural blood vessels well enough that natural cells can attach to the vessels, and nutrients can pass through them.

The technology is at its earliest stages, but Dr Tovar believes the artificial vessels could one day be used in applications like bypass surgery. More here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?