Researchers at the University of Buffalo have developed an innovative high-speed 3D printing method that seems to be straight from a science fiction film, in which a machine dips into a shallow vat of translucent yellow goop that becomes a life-sized hand. This object would typically take six hours to create using conventional 3D printing methods, but this new method only requires a mere 19-minutes, demonstrating progress toward 3D-printed human tissue and organs. Read more for a short video demonstration and additional information.
This method centers on a 3D printing method called stereolithography and jelly-like materials known as hydrogels, which can be used to fabricate many things, including diapers, contact lenses and scaffolds in tissue engineering. When perfected, this method is ideal for printing cells with embedded blood vessel networks, a nascent technology expected to be a central part of the production of 3D-printed human tissue and organs.
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The technology we’ve developed is 10-50 times faster than the industry standard, and it works with large sample sizes that have been very difficult to achieve previously,” said Ruogang Zhao, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering and the study’s co-lead author.