March 5, 2018 4:34 pm
Updated: March 9, 2018 11:39 pm

3D printing: UBC Okanagan researchers find new way to produce living bio-tissues


A new technology being developed at UBC Okanagan could be a game changer for those with severe burns, organ failure or even cancer.

Researchers have worked to produce a laser bio-printing method that can make living, 3D printed bio-tissues.

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“One of the ultimate goals in biomedical engineering is to recreate viable, healthy and living tissues,” engineering professor Keekyoung Kim said in a news release. “The applications are staggering and could range from helping people suffering from ailments such as severe burns or organ failure to creating artificial tissues for research into diseases like cancer.”

The engineered tissue is a much finer resolution than what’s currently possible and can support healthy, living cells with 95 per cent effectiveness, according to Kim.

“These findings show a promising future for tissue engineering and medical research,” Kim said.

There is considerable demand for biological models in which researchers can grow cancer cells in three dimensions, according to Kim.

Living cells are highly sensitive to chemical, mechanical, and biological conditions that are only present in a 3D environment, he said.

The method involves using an inexpensive laser diode to solidify a water-based gel into a complex cross-linked pattern.

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