A stunning breakthrough at the University of Bristol has led to the development of a new bio-ink that can perform 3D printing of a living tissue – a process known as bioprinting.
The bio-ink contains stems cells and is composed from two different polymers. The first is a natural polymer extracted from seaweed. This is combined with a synthetic polymer commonly used in the medical industry. Its purpose is to solidify the ink when the temperature is raised. The stem cells used in the process are called osteoblasts and chondrocytes. They are responsible for secretion of bone substance and cartilage.