Scottish scientists 3-D print human embryonic stem cells…
Scientists at the Heriot-Watt University in Scotland have become the first to develop human embryonic stem cells using 3D printing.
The new technique uses bio-ink, which is squeezed out of a value-based printer from two separate reservoirs, to form the stem cells.
This process allows the scientists to form different shapes and sizes of embryonic stem cells – originally harvested from an embryonic kidney and a well studied embryonic cell line – which can then be used for various types of tissues.
Lead researcher Will Wenmiao Shu, a professor at Heriot-Watt, says that it’s the first time anyone has printed human embryonic stem cells.
Ultimately the technique could be used to print new tissues, or as fillers or a matrix for damaged organs to be regenerated.
Jason King, business development manager at Roslin Cellab, one of the research partners.
“[It could] provide organs for transplant on demand, without the need for donation and without the problems of immune suppression and potential organ rejection.”
In the nearer future the teams hope their stem cells printing technique will help to cut down on animal testing and allow medicines and products to be tested on human tissues – a move that could also yield more accurate results.