Patient in 3D skin printer, artwork

Patient in 3D skin printer, artwork

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Credit: HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Patient in 3D skin printer. Artwork of a female patient having new skin printed onto a leg wound. Organ printing is a proposed organ manufacturing technique where an ink jet-type printer uses cell types instead of ink. The use of a sticky gel provides a supporting framework for the cells. The printer places gel and cells in complex patterns arranged in layers on top of each other. When the gel is washed away, the result is a three-dimensional organ. The technology is under development and the first printed organs are expected to be unveiled in around 2014.

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