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Author: livlewis, a staff writer of Life Science, published in Life Science: 04/30 p. m. 02:11 EDT. team of chemists has found one.
Scientists have developed a 3D printer that squeezes tiny drops of water into oil drops, creating micro-spheres with a lipid-like double layer, simulating the membrane of living cells.
As reported today, they deposit these droplets in layers to create a material that can bend like muscles or communicate like neurons (April 4)
In the journal Science.
'We made a new material.
It is not only a new material, but also a whole kind of material.
Author Gabriel Villar is a chemist at Oxford University in England.
In principle, these materials can be used to mimic any kind of living organization, Villar told life science.
The material consists of thousands of drops of water separated by a film called lipid double layer that encapsulates living cells and prevents everything from spilling.
These double layers are made up of oily water.
Waterproof layer sandwiched between two waterFriendly layer.
Previous experiments have assembled the droplets into a lipid double layer, but the droplets are either manufactured by hand or made using techniques that do not control the movement of individual droplets.
Villar and his colleagues have developed a 3D printer that automatically generates these droplets.
The printer uses very thin glass nozzles to produce droplets of about 50 microns (
About half the width of human hair).
The printer squeezes the droplets into oil-like solutions that spontaneously coat each drop in a lipid double layer.
Next, the team showed how to use printed materials to perform some of the functions of a live organization.
For example, they print a droplet network that can transmit signals like tissues in the nervous system (
On a simpler level though).
Neurons conduct pulses by letting charged particles called ions pass through the cell membrane.
To simulate the situation, the researchers added a protein made from bacteria to some droplets that cut holes in a lipid-like double layer, similar to the 'cookie cutter,' Villar said.
The current applied to the material passes through these holes, just like a nerve impulse.
But scientists did not stop there.
They do it themselves with a printer.
folded structure, like a flat flower with petals folded. [
See your own video
Folding water drops in action]
Folding is a completely passive process that depends on the movement between drops of water.
The researchers added salt to some lipids.
closed drop that produces a salt gradient along with a nearby drop.
Water naturally moves from salt-free drops to salt-free drops, causing salty drops to swell.
As a result, the flat petals curl into a hollow ball.
This material, like muscle tissue, lifts itself under the action of gravity.
Eventually, these 3D
Printed materials can be used to deliver drugs or replace damaged tissues, the researchers said.
Will Shu, biomedical engineer at Heriot, said: 'This is an exciting new development in 3D printing using synthetic analog cells
University of Watt. K.
He was not involved in the study.
'It's not hard to imagine that this method can be integrated into the organism, and the potential application will be huge.
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Original article of life science. com.