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3D printed skin holds promise for burn victims and others

University of Toronto researchers are piloting a technology that uses a patient's own cells to create skin grafts.

  • About the size of a standard microwave oven, the PrintAlive Bioprinter places a patient's own grown cells along with other biomaterials into a micro-device, which then pushes them out through several channels.

  • The PrintAlive Bioprinter 3D skin printer works by placing the victim's grown cells along with other biomaterials into a micro-device, which then pushes them out through several channels. The biomaterials are then mixed, causing a chemical reaction that forms a "mosaic hydrogel," a sheet-like substance compatible with the growth of cells into living tissues. The hydrogel is rolled out in thin sheets that can create many layers of tissue.

  • The 3D printer's micro-device pushing cells out through several channels to create a thin film of tissue.

  • A layer of skin is printed and then rolled up into layers of tissue.

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