3D printed blood vessels offer new possibilities for testing drugs

Bioprinting enthusiasts envision a future where we’ll be able to print functional human organs on demand, putting an end to transplant waiting lists and health problems and deaths related to organ failure.

3D-bioprinting-vascularized-tissue-blood-vesselsThat future isn’t unrealistic nor out of reach, but it’s going to arrive slowly—artificially re-creating an organ is a massively complicated task involving dozens of small pieces that must fit together perfectly in order to work as intended.

One of those pieces fell into place just last week, when a multi-national team published a study in the journal Biomicrofluidics detailing its efforts to develop 3D printed vascularized liver tissue. They used the artificial tissue for drug toxicity testing, mimicking a living environment to analyze the effect certain drugs would have on patients.

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