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University of California San Diego Nanoengineers Introduces A Functional 3-D Printed Blood Vessel Network [Video]]

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A team of scientists from University of California San Diego was able to make 3-D printed blood vessel network that works. They experimented with varied materials until they made one that works in a mouse.

Saochen Chen, nanoengineering professor at UC San Diego, led the team of scientists in making the functional 3-D printed blood vessel network. This would be used for organ transplants. Mot transplants failed because the blood vessels stopped functioning. With a reliable blood vessel network for the new organ, success of the operation would be quite assured, according to Physics.Org.

In most organ transplants, the blood vessel network may not be compatible with the donated organ. Blood circulation would stop and the transplanted organ would not work anymore.

The nanoengineers at University of California San Diego tested the 3D-printed blood vessel network in a mouse. It functioned perfectly. With this breakthrough, transplanted organs could have a 3D-printed blood vessel network that would transport blood, nutrients and wastes in the body. This meant it could function normally.

Other scientists have attempted to make 3-D printed blood vessel network but they were just able to make single ones. This cannot be used in organ transplants because the whole network was needed. Besides, the process of printing one could be long and expensive.

Dr. Saochen Chen and his team were able to develop fast and easy method of 3D-printed blood vessel network. The image was printed in the cell from the outer layer of the skin. Then, it is cultured. After one day, the printed material grew into tissues. These were implanted in the mice. After a few days, the mice already had a blood vessel network that functioned normally, according to 3D Print.com.

This means that a transplanted heart or kidney would have its own blood vessels that could distribute blood though out the organ. The 3-D printed blood vessel network could make the organ alive so that it could perform its function.

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