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Trends Biotechnol. 2003 Apr;21(4):157-61.

Organ printing: computer-aided jet-based 3D tissue engineering.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.

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  • Trends Biotechnol. 2004 Jun;22(6):265.


Tissue engineering technology promises to solve the organ transplantation crisis. However, assembly of vascularized 3D soft organs remains a big challenge. Organ printing, which we define as computer-aided, jet-based 3D tissue-engineering of living human organs, offers a possible solution. Organ printing involves three sequential steps: pre-processing or development of "blueprints" for organs; processing or actual organ printing; and postprocessing or organ conditioning and accelerated organ maturation. A cell printer that can print gels, single cells and cell aggregates has been developed. Layer-by-layer sequentially placed and solidified thin layers of a thermo-reversible gel could serve as "printing paper". Combination of an engineering approach with the developmental biology concept of embryonic tissue fluidity enables the creation of a new rapid prototyping 3D organ printing technology, which will dramatically accelerate and optimize tissue and organ assembly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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