US scientists add working blood vessels into 3D-printed skin

November 20, 2019

The advent of 3D-printing technology has enabled the bioprinting of living skin grafts as temporary wound coverings – scientists have now gone one step further by including blood vessels into these bioprinted skin grafts so that they remain viable and are eventually incorporated into a patient’s own skin.

A team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York, initially created “bio-inks” in a skin-like structure and, following the addition of special cells by a team at Yale University,blood vessels began growing in the artificial skin structure. When these pieces were grafted over open wounds on mice, their blood vessels began communicating with those in the bioprinted skin, causing the grafts to become perfused with blood after only four weeks.

Study lead, Professor Pankaj Karande, said the transfer of blood and nutrients was important to ‘keep the graft alive’ but added that scientists still needed to work on possible rejection of the 3D-printed skin grafts by recipients’ bodies.

Category: Technology & Devices

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