Making a durable, natural-looking skin substitute that could cover burn injuries or other wounds has been a decades-long dream of bioengineers. Now we may be much closer to that dream, thanks to a new method for printing 3-D skin complete with working blood vessels.
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The research, done at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Yale University, uses living human skin cells turned into a liquid “bio ink.” The bio ink is used to print artificial skin, which then grows its own blood vessel system.
“The vasculature is very important because that’s how the host and the graft talk to each other,” says Pankaj Karande, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at RPI, who led the research. “Communication between host and graft is critical if the skin substitute is not to be rejected by the body.”
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(Video Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/ YouTube)