Doctors at the University of Wollongong developed a BioPen, which is designed to repair bone and cartilage injuries in the manner of a handheld 3D printer, via 3ders.org:
The BioPen prototype was designed and built using the 3D printer in the labs at the University of Wollongong. With the right mix of cells, growth factors, doctors could even draw replacement tissue that would eventually grow into functioning nerve or muscle tissue. The composition of the cell-loaded material can be surrounded by a polymer core to add structural strength to the surgical site. It can also be seeded with other drugs to assist regrowth and recovery.
The BioPen was this week handed over researchers at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne who will work on optimising the cell material for use in clinical trials, for exmaple to grow new knee cartilage from stem cells on 3D-printed scaffolds to treat cancers, osteoarthritis and traumatic injury.
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