Lots of people use 3-D printers to sculpt plastic. But some are using them to shape cells.
A team of researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, led by Will Shu, has built a printer that can lay down human stem cells in tiny spheres. Printing human cells has been done before, with bone marrow or skin. Those types of cells, however, are resilient compared to the more delicate embryonic stem cells.
“The technique will allow us to create more accurate human tissue models which are essential to in vitro drug development and toxicity-testing. Since the majority of drug discovery is targeting human disease, it makes sense to use human tissues.” Shu said in a press release.