Scientists have printed cow cartilages with an aim to fix worn joints, according to a study published in June 2017.
Scientists from Pennsylvania State University in the U.S., under the guidance of Dr Ibrahim Ozbolat, have made use of special 3D printing technique, claiming of its potential to print special patches for people with worn joints.
The team grew cells in thin tubes made from algae, measuring three hundredths of an inch wide, to create organic ink.
The lead author said: “Our goal is to create tissue that can be used to replace large amounts of worn out tissue or design patches.
They took the cartilage of the thin tube to push it through a special nozzle, to allow it to be printed out in rows in any desired pattern. The ink was left to settle for an hour, before moving it into a laboratory dish, where different stands were attached and fused together.
Scientists intend be able to print out such pieces of cartilage to patch up worn out joints.
“Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We need a new alternative treatment for this.” Said the team
Dr Ozbolat said: “Hydrogels don’t allow cells to grow as normal. The hydrogel confines the cells and doesn’t allow them to communicate as they do in native tissues. We can manufacture the strands in any length we want. Because there is no scaffolding, the process of printing the cartilage is scalable, so the patches can be made bigger as well.”